The Friday Morning Listen: Supersuckers – All Songs Sound the Same (1992)

Share this:

It isn’t often that I hear the words of my parents coming out of my mouth. Actually, it isn’t even something that I particularly dread. Because this idea that as you get older you become more like your parents? Well, that’s not really happening. I’m as much like them as I’ll ever be — opinionated (and potty-mouthed) like my mom; kind, silent, and withdrawing like my dad. Also, I’m supposed to be getting more conservative. Wrong again, as “more” implies I have at least some conservative tendencies, which I do not.

A couple of days ago, a thought entered my mind that could easily have come from my dad’s mouth: “It all sounds the same.” Context: I went through a phase in high school where I listened to Black Sabbath every morning as I got ready for breakfast and the school bus. After about a month of this, he yelled at me to turn it down, because a) it was too loud and b) it all sounded the same. Too loud? OK, it was before 6:30 AM. Maybe he had a point there.

Anyway, I was listening to a radio segment on the songwriter Terius Nash, a.k.a. The Dream. Some of his music sounded kind of interesting, though maybe not as interesting as his descriptions of how he got there, his influences (Otis Redding, Prince, Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke, church music), and the meaning of R & B. To be honest, I’d never heard of the guy (by either name) so I suppose that shoved me in the parents’ direction, since they were in the dark about my music when I was a kid. On the other hand, I do love me some Frank Ocean and Janelle Monae. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.

But in Robert Siegel’s introduction, mention is made of some of the huge hits that Nash has been involved in: Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Then they played short samples of those three tunes. And that is when dear old dad’s words came out of my mouth, because those three tracks could have been parts of the same song. Same rhythms. Same beats. Same fizzy synth washes. Vaguely pleasant, non-threatening, and consistent…pop music Velveeta. How did we get here? I want to blame technology but hey, people seem to love this stuff, right down to the constant use of auto-tune. I dialed up the first track from The Dream’s latest record “IV Play,” and was greeted with heavily-produced vocals just dripping with auto-tune juice. Icky.

It’s a funny bit of contradiction, that Nash namechecks all of these soul greats of the past and near past and yet his own music comes straight from the Modern R & B Cheese Extruder™. All I know is this: Dad, you were right. It does all sound the same.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B002QT1KUC” container=”B00136LTXM” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B003TWEZPC” container=”B00136LTXM” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at [email protected]
Mark Saleski
Share this:
Close