I have heard the definitive example of "soulless"

Dave Lemire

Member
Messages
314
My centenarian Mom is in a small assisted living facility. One of the other residents has a phone that her children have programmed with various collections of music that the woman reputedly finds calming (and from what I've observed it does seem to do some good). However, what I heard yesterday was beyond the pale.

I'm no fan of Bridge Over Troubled Water. But I have to consider it sacrilegious to perform it to an ~125 bpm, poppy musical background. And that was only the start of the horror. Over the next hour or so there was an endless medley of numerous tunes from a broad variety of source, all performed to essentially that same uptempo, poppy, little more than drum machine and keyboards backing track. 50s era popular music. The Bee Gee's San Francisco. The Carpenter's Sing A Song. I Don't Know How To Love Him from JCS. On. And on. And on.

Soulless. I can't even bring myself to append "music" to that adjective. In the form of this recording it really was just background noise. Really irritating background noise.

Escaping from that was such an enormous relief.
 

Strummerfan

Member
Messages
8,137
Bad music is so irritating. My coworker Listens to this horrible reggae mix at least a couple of times a week. I like reggae, but this is just awful, devoid of feel, one basic relentless rhythm that goes for an hour straight while a bunch of men who can't sing, and a bunch of women who drastically over sing, sing badly rewritten pop lyrics from 80's and 90's songs by Elton John, Phil Collins, and any number of one hit wonder bands. Then, as annoying as it is, it ups the bar when a DJ starts toasting over the music at a volume twice that of the song.
I don't know what happened in the world of reggae, there was so much emotion in Bob Marley, Barrington Levy, Jimmy Cliff, Junior Murvin, Eddy Grant, Toots and the Maytalls, but this stuff is completely devoid of passion.
 

Dave Lemire

Member
Messages
314
Hmmm. The woman seems to enjoy it and finds it calming. Hardly soulless, IMHO.
The overall effect on her seems pretty binary, regardless of the music. But the rest of what I've heard from her collection has at least some musical value.
Doesn't sound much different than most hip-hop covers of older songs.
the triumph of technology over music.
I really think this was far worse. This droned on and on and on and on without any variation or emotional content whatsoever.
 

Dave Lemire

Member
Messages
314
The way we treat our elderly is sad.
As an overall commentary on how things are in the US I'd probably agree. OTOH I saw a number of facilities while searching for a home for my mom and many were quite nice and seemed to be well run. In her case, she's in an excellent situation: a small assisted living facility with a high staff to resident ratio. My wife and I are quite happy with the situation.

100-year-olds can listen to whatever they want.
I agree, although in this case the music isn't for the centenarian. Doesn't mean I didn't find it painful.
 

geek-mo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,231
I wouldn't call that soulless. Soulless is belittling other people and using them for your personal gain. Exploiting and harming the weak and vulnerable is soulless. The endless rapacity for power over others while providing nothing in return is soulless.

Tacky music is not soulless. It's merely annoying.
 




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