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Volterra_90 said:

Yeah. There's no doubt in his influence. At least I can say that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a game changer and one of (if not the) all-time higher points on rap music. That's almost universally accepted by music critics, and it's indeed an awesome album.

I'd say OK Computer is my favourite Radiohead album, and the first one which give them fame. 

MBDTF is my favorite album of all time, do I definitely agree there.

It's funny that you recommend OK Computer, because I actually listened to that waiting for your suggestion last night. A friend recommended it to me. Very very good album.



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spemanig said:
Volterra_90 said:

Yeah. There's no doubt in his influence. At least I can say that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a game changer and one of (if not the) all-time higher points on rap music. That's almost universally accepted by music critics, and it's indeed an awesome album.

I'd say OK Computer is my favourite Radiohead album, and the first one which give them fame. 

MBDTF is my favorite album of all time, do I definitely agree there.

It's funny that you recommend OK Computer, because I actually listened to that waiting for your suggestion last night. A friend recommended it to me. Very very good album.

It's usually the introduction album for Radiohead, since it's kind of accessible and it's universally praised. Though if you're into electronic music you should listen to Kid A/Amnesiac too. It's a very, very different sound of Radiohead and it shows another side of the band. They're a very heterogenous band and they don't fear to step out of their comfort zone, so it's like hearing different bands actually. 



Volterra_90 said:

It's usually the introduction album for Radiohead, since it's kind of accessible and it's universally praised. Though if you're into electronic music you should listen to Kid A/Amnesiac too. It's a very, very different sound of Radiohead and it shows another side of the band. They're a very heterogenous band and they don't fear to step out of their comfort zone, so it's like hearing different bands actually. 

The same person who recommended OK C recommended Kid A next too, so I'll definitely try that after I've listened to the former a few more time.



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spemanig said:
armodillo17 said:

My reaction is that it's a silly thing to say, because there is no way to ever get a concensus on any of those things. No one has listened to music from every artist of the last 15 years in order to compare, and import and influence won't be truly known until a long time from now anyway (probably still won't be a concensus then either).

...You don't need to have listened to every artist to see his influence. He literally changed the trajectory of both hip hop and pop. Some of the biggest musicians of today literally wouldn't exist today without the path Kanye paved for them with the music he's put out.

Drake, B.o.B., Kid Cudi, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, even The Weeknd would not be relevent as they are now if Kanye hadn't introduced the kinds of sounds and subject matter they've since built their entire careers off of in 808s and Heartbreak to the mainstream. Some of them wouldn't even have careers. Same with Graduation. College Dropout literally redefinied hip hop when it came out. It redefined the sound, the dress code, the subject matter, the culture, and the image. Notice the severe drop in baggy pants, oversized tees, and flaunted boxers, replaced instead by skinny jeans and fitted polos in young black urban culture in the past 15 years? Who do you think did that? Eminem? 50 Cent? Bruno Mars? No, it was Kanye West and his pink polo. And that's not to even remotely get into his revolution of the perception of rap and hip hop in white culture.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is inarguably one of the greatest mainstream albums of all time. It's definitely one of the most dense, well produced, well organized albums ever created. No one makes albums like that. Some of the most important musicians of the past century - MJ, Queen, The Beetles, some of the greatest musicians of all time, haven't made albums as tight as MBDTF. If 808s introduced the sound that would go one to define much, if not most, of modern pop (which has been the most dominating and successful genre of, what, the last 35 years or more?) MBDTF pressured that sound to a lazer focus and perfected it.

Even his most recent album, Yeezus, which is his most controversial album since 808s, is already showing blooming influence in Rihanna's most recent album Anti, which came out less than a month ago. That new wave of dark, industrial, distorted sounds will only drip more into the mainstream over the next five years as the top artists become influenced by other big early adopters like Rihanna and the success of these new sounds.

So no, it's not a silly thing to say. The consensus isn't just clear - it's screaming. Love him or hate him, no musician is more important to the 21st century than Kanye West. Not one.

I don't disagree that he's very influential, very important, or very talented. You make very good points to support all 3. I just think it's silly to say that any artist is the "most" or "best" anything because music involves so much subjective taste. Statements like "No one makes albums like that" aren't based entirely in fact; their based heavily on taste, and that's totally fine. That's the way it should be, really.

As for the change in clothes, I would argue that the change was inevitable. Kanye might have been the impetus for the change at that particular moment, but in general, the change was a reaction against baggy clothes in the same way that baggy clothes of the 90's were a reaction to tight fitting clothes of the 80's. Our whole culture right now is repeating the 80's style (obsession with exercise and tech, clothes that are bright and bold, women wearing tights as pants, music that is much more electronic sounding than guitar based--I even saw a commercial recently with a woman wearing a sweatshirt that had the neck cut out, hanging off of one shoulder), so it was only natural that clothes style matched that.



armodillo17 said:

I don't disagree that he's very influential, very important, or very talented. You make very good points to support all 3. I just think it's silly to say that any artist is the "most" or "best" anything because music involves so much subjective taste. Statements like "No one makes albums like that" aren't based entirely in fact; their based heavily on taste, and that's totally fine. That's the way it should be, really.

As for the change in clothes, I would argue that the change was inevitable. Kanye might have been the impetus for the change at that particular moment, but in general, the change was a reaction against baggy clothes in the same way that baggy clothes of the 90's were a reaction to tight fitting clothes of the 80's. Our whole culture right now is repeating the 80's style (obsession with exercise and tech, clothes that are bright and bold, women wearing tights as pants, music that is much more electronic sounding than guitar based--I even saw a commercial recently with a woman wearing a sweatshirt that had the neck cut out, hanging off of one shoulder), so it was only natural that clothes style matched that.

Is definitely not silly to say he's at least the most important and influential. That can be proven. Who else has influenced music and culture more? No one. This is quantifiable stuff here.

While the statement about albums is slightly subjective, it's mostly based on an objective academic knowledge of music. It's what I major in in school. It's not just me saying that it sounds nice. It's based on music theory, on counter-point, harmonic reductions, and synergy between songs, and structure throughout the entire album. Music doesn't just sound good because someone writes with heart - it sounds good because of what is essentially music maths. I understand that music maths, and that statement was almost entirely based off that music maths. No one makes albums like that. Even if you remove all subjectivity from that, which factors in lyrics, themes, metaphors, pleasentness, etc., you'd still get that no one objectively makes albums put together as perfectly as MBDTF is. Not even his other albums are as perfectly structured as MBDTF. MBDTF is like music Tetris. Academic courses could be taught on MBDTF.

You can argue that change is inevitable, but you can't argue that the specific change he brought is. These people aren't just repeating the 80s. They are dressing like him. They're Kanye clones. His look wasn't 80s fashion - it was completely his, and he made that cool for a traditionally urban community and more. Even if you did try to argue that it was inevitable, the fact that he specifically pioneered that "resurgence" isn't unsubstantial, either.



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spemanig said:

Is definitely not silly to say he's at least the most important and influential. That can be proven. Who else has influenced music and culture more? No one. This is quantifiable stuff here.

While the statement about albums is slightly subjective, it's mostly based on an objective academic knowledge of music. It's what I major in in school. It's not just me saying that it sounds nice. It's based on music theory, on counter-point, harmonic reductions, and synergy between songs, and structure throughout the entire album. Music doesn't just sound good because someone writes with heart - it sounds good because of what is essentially music maths. I understand that music maths, and that statement was almost entirely based off that music maths. No one makes albums like that. Even if you remove all subjectivity from that, which factors in lyrics, themes, metaphors, pleasentness, etc., you'd still get that no one objectively makes albums put together as perfectly as MBDTF is. Not even his other albums are as perfectly structured as MBDTF. MBDTF is like music Tetris. Academic courses could be taught on MBDTF.

You can argue that change is inevitable, but you can't argue that the specific change he brought is. These people aren't just repeating the 80s. They are dressing like him. They're Kanye clones. His look wasn't 80s fashion - it was completely his, and he made that cool for a traditionally urban community and more. Even if you did try to argue that it was inevitable, the fact that he specifically pioneered that "resurgence" isn't unsubstantial, either.

Importance and influence definitely cannot be proven. They can both be argued with evidence, but they cannot be proven. What is important varies wildly from person to person, and how things truly influence us is far from known. Oftentimes we have no idea that things are influencing us.

Even if your statement is based in theoretical analysis, that doesn't make it any less subjective. A song can have harmony, counter-point, structure, etc., but that doesn't mean that the song does any one of those things well. And deciding whether or not those aspects of a song are any good is more than a bit subjective. 12-tone music has a whole host of cool music theory concepts built into it, yet the vast majority of people hate it. Why? Because they just don't like how it sounds. Explaining the theory might make them like it more, but it might not. If these things weren't subjective, then music theorists would end up agreeing on everything, and we both know that's not true. (Schenckerian analysis, for example is still controversial.)

I've studied quite a bit of music theory, too (unfortunately it wasn't offered as a major at my school), and precisely as a result of that studying, I've come to appreciate that very little of what makes music good is quantifiable. There are a whole host of things that can be quantified that can make music more or less complex, but what makes the music good or not is how it all comes together, which is completely subjective. If it weren't, scientists could just create the perfect song and be done with it.

There are plenty of artists that have made albums that I think meet all the criteria for what you've said makes MBDTF so perfect (ones by The Smashing Pumpkins, Imogen Heap, Rush, and Alice In Chains off the top of my head), but you might not agree with me about any of them, and that's a good thing. So yes, I still think it's ludicrous to claim that "No one makes albums like that," as if that's a provable fact.

You make a good point about the distinction between change vs the specifics of the change (talking about clothes). Kanye doesn't exist in a vaccuum, though. His reactions are just as much a product of the society he lives in as anyone else's. Who's to say that, if he hadn't dressed the way he had, someone else wouldn't have? I just don't think there is any way to prove that kind of stuff.



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armodillo17 said:

Importance and influence definitely cannot be proven. They can both be argued with evidence, but they cannot be proven. What is important varies wildly from person to person, and how things truly influence us is far from known. Oftentimes we have no idea that things are influencing us.

Even if your statement is based in theoretical analysis, that doesn't make it any less subjective. A song can have harmony, counter-point, structure, etc., but that doesn't mean that the song does any one of those things well. And deciding whether or not those aspects of a song are any good is more than a bit subjective. 12-tone music has a whole host of cool music theory concepts built into it, yet the vast majority of people hate it. Why? Because they just don't like how it sounds. Explaining the theory might make them like it more, but it might not. If these things weren't subjective, then music theorists would end up agreeing on everything, and we both know that's not true. (Schenckerian analysis, for example is still controversial.)

I've studied quite a bit of music theory, too (unfortunately it wasn't offered as a major at my school), and precisely as a result of that studying, I've come to appreciate that very little of what makes music good is quantifiable. There are a whole host of things that can be quantified that can make music more or less complex, but what makes the music good or not is how it all comes together, which is completely subjective. If it weren't, scientists could just create the perfect song and be done with it.

There are plenty of artists that have made albums that I think meet all the criteria for what you've said makes MBDTF so perfect (ones by The Smashing Pumpkins, Imogen Heap, Rush, and Alice In Chains off the top of my head), but you might not agree with me about any of them, and that's a good thing. So yes, I still think it's ludicrous to claim that "No one makes albums like that," as if that's a provable fact.

You make a good point about the distinction between change vs the specifics of the change (talking about clothes). Kanye doesn't exist in a vaccuum, though. His reactions are just as much a product of the society he lives in as anyone else's. Who's to say that, if he hadn't dressed the way he had, someone else wouldn't have? I just don't think there is any way to prove that kind of stuff.

What is important and influential to the industry is provable. Album sales, fan base size, similar sounds, those are all quantifiable. It doesn't matter what's important to you personally. When over a dozen of the highest grossing musicians in the industry link the genesis of their signature sounds and subject matter to one album, that's influence, and that's irrefutable.

I can't take anything else you're saying seriously, though. You obviously don't know what you're talking about. Theory isn't subjective. Saying that albums aren't organized the way MBDTF is not a subjective statement. If you don't understand what that means, even after having it spelled out, then you obviously learned nothing in your theory courses. What I'm talking about is organisation and optimization. That isn't an opinion. Those are facts. Those are based off literal numbers.

Saying statements like "12-tone music has a whole host of cool music theory concepts built into it" makes that lack of theoretical understanding abundantly clear. 99% of modern music has "a whole host of cool music theory concepts built onto it." That's like saying baseball has a "whole host of cool physics concepts built into it."

What makes music good is quantifiable. Theory is literally the analytical study of explaining why we like music. Theory has nothing to do with being simple or complex. It's the explanation of the organization of sound frequency and their relationship with each other. Theory is "how it all comes together." There are "scientists" who "create the perfect song." They are called popular musicians, and the "perfect songs" are the millions of popular hit songs. There isn't just one perfect song just like there isn't just one perfect equasion. These people make hundreds of millions of dollars creating sounds that are crafted to be pleasing, and any basic harmonic reduction can tell you exactly why. That's theory.

I guarantee you they haven't because you clearly have no understanding of what that statement meant judging by your response. It is a provable fact. It either is, or it isn't. That's theory. This isn't a statement of "well MBDTF sounds pretty to me." It's an efficient, organized, optimized album, to the degree of which none have come close to replicating in all the thousands of albums I've listened to. That's backed up by harmonic and reductive analysis. This is math. Does that mean there can't be another as tight? Of course not, but that's the point. There hasn't been. At least none that have even come remotely close to having the exposure, and therefore influence, that MBDTF has had.

Who's to say someone else would have? It doesn't matter. They didn't. He did. It doesn't matter if someone else would have done it eventually. It doesn't matter if someone else did it first. That's what influence is. Him specifically doing it is what striggered that change. It doesn't matter if he's a product of his time. Obviously he is. Obviously his style is a product of his own influencers. Obviously his music is a product of his own influencers. 808s didn't come out of his ass. That sound came from his effection for synthpop and electropop artists of the 80s like Phil Collins, Gary Numan, TJ Swan, and Boy George. But they don't matter unless you're a music hystorian who cares about that stuff. They didn't have the platform he did when he dropped 808s, so they didn't gain the magnetude of exposure that he did with 808s. Drake is one of the biggest musicians of the 2010s. He's probably a more popular musician than Kanye right now. Is he as important or influential as Kanye though? Of course not. Drake didn't make the wave, he rode it. Kanye was a tsunami.

All this "it's just an opinion" stuff is moot. It's like saying that you can't say Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beetles, Michael Jackson, and Queen weren't the most important and influential musicians of the 20th century because "I personally liked Greenday better, so they were more important and influential musicians to me." That's cute, but that's not what this is about.



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spemanig said:

What is important and influential to the industry is provable. Album sales, fan base size, similar sounds, those are all quantifiable. It doesn't matter what's important to you personally. When over a dozen of the highest grossing musicians in the industry link the genesis of their signature sounds and subject matter to one album, that's influence, and that's irrefutable.

I can't take anything else you're saying seriously, though. You obviously don't know what you're talking about. Theory isn't subjective. Saying that albums aren't organized the way MBDTF is not a subjective statement. If you don't understand what that means, even after having it spelled out, then you obviously learned nothing in your theory courses. What I'm talking about is organisation and optimization. That isn't an opinion. Those are facts. Those are based off literal numbers.

Saying statements like "12-tone music has a whole host of cool music theory concepts built into it" makes that lack of theoretical understanding abundantly clear. 99% of modern music has "a whole host of cool music theory concepts built onto it." That's like saying baseball has a "whole host of cool physics concepts built into it."

What makes music good is quantifiable. Theory is literally the analytical study of explaining why we like music. Theory has nothing to do with being simple or complex. It's the explanation of the organization of sound frequency and their relationship with each other. Theory is "how it all comes together." There are "scientists" who "create the perfect song." They are called popular musicians, and the "perfect songs" are the millions of popular hit songs. There isn't just one perfect song just like there isn't just one perfect equasion. These people make hundreds of millions of dollars creating sounds that are crafted to be pleasing, and any basic harmonic reduction can tell you exactly why. That's theory.

I guarantee you they haven't because you clearly have no understanding of what that statement meant judging by your response. It is a provable fact. It either is, or it isn't. That's theory. This isn't a statement of "well MBDTF sounds pretty to me." It's an efficient, organized, optimized album, to the degree of which none have come close to replicating in all the thousands of albums I've listened to. That's backed up by harmonic and reductive analysis. This is math. Does that mean there can't be another as tight? Of course not, but that's the point. There hasn't been. At least none that have even come remotely close to having the exposure, and therefore influence, that MBDTF has had.

Who's to say someone else would have? It doesn't matter. They didn't. He did. It doesn't matter if someone else would have done it eventually. It doesn't matter if someone else did it first. That's what influence is. Him specifically doing it is what striggered that change. It doesn't matter if he's a product of his time. Obviously he is. Obviously his style is a product of his own influencers. Obviously his music is a product of his own influencers. 808s didn't come out of his ass. That sound came from his effection for synthpop and electropop artists of the 80s like Phil Collins, Gary Numan, TJ Swan, and Boy George. But they don't matter unless you're a music hystorian who cares about that stuff. They didn't have the platform he did when he dropped 808s, so they didn't gain the magnetude of exposure that he did with 808s. Drake is one of the biggest musicians of the 2010s. He's probably a more popular musician than Kanye right now. Is he as important or influential as Kanye though? Of course not. Drake didn't make the wave, he rode it. Kanye was a tsunami.

All this "it's just an opinion" stuff is moot. It's like saying that you can't say Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beetles, Michael Jackson, and Queen weren't the most important and influential musicians of the 20th century because "I personally liked Greenday better, so they were more important and influential musicians to me." That's cute, but that's not what this is about.

I don't really understand your becoming so rude about this. I have remained polite in my disagreements with your points, and I hoped you would do the same (rather than trying to tell me that I "clearly know nothing"). I'm sure you know quite a bit about music theory, but I assure you I do as well, and have been learning it formally and informally for a very long time. I can't prove that to you via writing anymore than you can prove yours to me, but let's just give each other the benefit of the doubt.

I could be wrong, but from your initial comment ("and see how people react"), it seemed like you clearly wanted someone to disagree with you so you could have a debate about it, so I did. If that's not what you wanted, I apologize. Obviously, we fundamentally disagree about some aspects of music, which I think it good. I enjoy disagreements, because it gives me a chance to evaluate what I think. However, I think it's pretty arrogant to think, let alone say, that you know what you're talking about and someone else knows nothing, especially when we've never met, and our interactions consist of about 5 posts.

I'm assuming you aren't interested in hearing most of my counterpoints (no pun intended), but I would like to clear up one thing. Your final paragraph seems to indicate that you completely missed my point. I never said that any artist can be considered the most important or influential just because of personal preference. What I've been trying to say is that no one singular artist can definitively labeled the "most" anything. I wholeheartedly agree with your list of 20th century musicians who are very, very influential and important. Someone could easily suggest, however, that Miles Davis belongs in that list, or maybe Led Zeppelin, or maybe someone else I'm forgetting. And which one of those artists would you say is the singular most important or influential? I'm arguing that It's impossible to say, because there are degrees of subjectiveness. That's what I'm saying--not that personal preference trumps any and all analysis or data.



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I'm listening to Undertale's ost. I'm not too much into music with lyrics, I like pretty much anything instrumental if it has a nice melody