01 May 2008

Maybe-Not-So-Time-Wasting Question Of The Day

Ahem, at first this is going to sound like a dumb question but bear with me: who is the more smug musician? Sam Sparro or Mark Ronson?

Yes, this is what's it has come to. My point in this question is that there seems to be a multitude of very proud and conceited young men emerging into the world of music, including Sparro and Ronson.

First of all, let's start with "super-producer" Ronson. When he waddled on to the scene poking a horrific cover of The Smiths' "Stop Me.." into everyone's faces, he was heralded as the next big thing and at first it seemed like he would fade after a little while - after all, a lot of these DJs/Producers who make these remix/cover versions in the dance style generally have one hit and then disappear off the face of the planet. But then he re-emerged brandishing a cover of "Oh My God" by Kaiser Chiefs fronted by (gulp) Lily Allen. If that wasn't bad enough, he decided to have a go at "Valerie" by the Zutons and stick Amy Winehouse into the frame. Suddenly he was a god, and had made "one of the best records of recent times". Er, no! I think that if he had written this song as an original piece and came out of nowhere then maybe that would be more cause for praise. But he just took the whole ethos of the song and stuck a few trumpets on it. All of a sudden he's created a masterpiece, the Mona Lisa of the music world. Now he goes around looking incredibly smug in his designer suits and floppy-fringed haircuts, bragging about who he used to hang around with as a kid and basically talking as if he's god's gift to the world.

Sparro is no different. Apart from the fact that he's given himself a ridiculous name (seriously, where did he get that one from?), he's gone and made a self-indulgent dance single that ponders the existence of god ("Black and Gold" - truly annoying after you've heard it a billion times). Yes, that's right. I actually think that he likes the sound of his own voice. There is something in the way that he sings that actually suggests that he is completely in love with himself. I can imagine himself pulling smug little faces and trying to look incredibly attractive when singing. Then there's some of the promotional photos. He pouts and looks at the camera in a way that says "I know I'm gorgeous and wonderfully talented. You should think so too."

I think it'll be great when we get some new young men into the business that don't have this kind of attitude. Everything is suddenly about image and it takes away from the music - perhaps a more down-to-earth man would write songs that are not reflections of an egotistical personality.


  1. I never understood how "artists" who steal someone else's song...add an instrument or two...make some edits...get to call it their own. And why, oh why are they hailed as "masters?"


    Great post.

  2. This takes me back to the old sampling arguement. The artist who creates the music is the "master". I do get incensed with this lauding of some idiot who twiddles a few knobs( they are usually the knob) and receives the plaudits.

    Come up with something original, now that would be masterful.


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