What about those artists that have several genre labels given to them, as if it wasn’t already confusing enough. Does this mean they play all these styles of music, or is it that people cannot work out what style or genre they actually fit into so what they do instead is simply cover their bases and label them as being all the genres they sound like. Many of The Beatles albums encompassed several different styles on one album alone, but does that mean The Beatles should be given ten genre labels when all their doing is experimenting with different sounds and styles in a game where there are no rules.
Then there’s the good old sub-genre, including the endless amount of genres within a genre. A classic example of this is the number of sub-genres that exist within metal such as death metal, black metal, nu metal, thrash metal, glam metal…the list goes on. Isn’t it all just metal but played slightly? And why in fact does every slightly different way of playing metal have to have its own sub-genre label? What about the neo genres that have become fashionable in recent years, everything within music seems to be neo these days neo-psychedelia, neo-soul, neo-prog. Aren’t these just styles that have long been with us and continue to be played? Why should adding neo to soul or prog distinguish a more modern variant of a long-established style of music, especially as the people playing these types of musical styles you would think would have been influenced in some way by the original practitioners from the 1950s, 60s, or 70s?
At the end of the day, music is music, there are no rules or boundaries as to what you can do, and experimentation should be encouraged within specific styles or genres without the need for ten new genre labels being invented to account for this. If musicians want to combine elements of different types of music into their own, so what, it shouldn’t mean a new sub-genre is developed every time this happens, or that that artist should be given half a dozen genre labels. Musicians should not have to be boxed into certain categories or have weird labels like sophisti-pop imposed on them, especially when the making of music and the creative process itself is not about distinguishing this from that, it’s about what sounds good and what you can create with all the tools and knowledge at your disposal. So in concluding this rant against genres, I say forget about labels such as sophisti-pop, blue-eyed soul, neo-this and nu-that as those terms are not about music to me and shouldn’t have to separate a variant within a style of music from the overall style itself.