Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan
posted at 2/12/2014 3:09 PM EST
In response to yogafriend's comment:
They're not contemporaries.
Dylan has a legacy already in place; unless we judge Dylan for his accomplishments of the early part of his career, we're comparing apples to pork chops, IMO.
You say above, DD, that Swift can't help that she wasn't born in the seventies. No, but that's far from the point. Again, if you want to compare them at this stage of their careers, it's only fair to go into the way back machine and look at Dylan at the same age as Swift is now, or with the number of years in the music industry.
They were not "groomed" in the same way, manner, to have the same expectations, same goals.
Songwriting is like any other form of writing, there are critical factors that can make writing average, very good, excellent, or exceptional. You'd have to give us some criteria to judge the songwriting. You didn't. Otherwise, it's not quite fair to backtrack on all of our comments, b/c you didn't set up a premise yourself first.
One wrote songs about the backdrop of society. One has had his songs covered by artists across the world, across the spectrum. One has songs that are in the Library of Congress' permanent collection of Americana's best, and will be preserved forever.
One sings autobiographically about coming of age, her life, her (many) ex-boyfriends, and relates to (PRIMARILY, but not exclusively) a female audience.
If you really think there is no way to distinguish between them, I am surprised.
If you wan to level the playing field this flatly, it would be 'fun' to do so in another thread. We could all give examples of "this artist" = "this artist" using the same basic formula. :)
The bolded part is the point. I did not say you couldn't judge by criteria. Just because I didn't provide criteria doesn't mean you can't use any. That is the whole point. There is this thing called quality. It does exist. But quality is not proven by opinion, it is above opinion. It is not proven by accolades or popularity, it is above them. It's not proven by anything except the inherent value of whatever it is. That is the elusive crux of the matter I was trying to elicit by my bold(?) equation.
So I would argue that it doesn't matter how broad or narrow an audience for someone is. This says nothing about the quality of the music. There exist those people who correctly say that Bob Dylan can't sing very well. Is that a fact? Does it matter? The quality of the songs is not dependent on the social impact they have. That is just a by-product that doesn't reflect on the quality of the music. Opera has limited social impact, yet the quality of opera singing towers above many forms of music. Why? Because it takes skill that very few people possess. It takes hard work and training and only the best of the best can perform it. Are these valid criteria to use or is it all just opinion?