Thursday, May 17, 2012

RIP Donna Summer

Donna Summer is dead today. The five-time winner of the Grammy award passed away due to lung cancer. She was 63.


She wasn't really a musician I liked, and one would possibly go so far as to blame her for the oversaturation of today's music with 4/4 electronic beat, danceable but meaningless songs. However, one cannot deny she had an impact on today's musicians. 

Unlike a lot of today's mass market divas that fade after a few years, Donna Summer had a long career with many hits, and a powerful, moving voice. One of her most controversial songs, Love to Love You Baby, contained the sound of 23 faked orgasms. This was very shocking back in 1975, as sex wasn't so widely talked about. 

However, are we really that much better off with what her music inspired? Perhaps I am being disrespectful to her memory, to think on it now. Isn't it disappointing, though? Most of the songs today that are done in the style she made popular contain nothing but advertisements for clothes, shoes, bags, alcohol, credit cards, and bad decisions. All that is being broadcast with a friendly, happy tune and a mindless 4/4 beat that seeps into your mind. It's no better than a marching beat. 

In any case, it is not her fault that what she created became a corrupt vehicle of capitalism, is it? She had done something very innovative at the time, and she put her talent and her heart into it. So, even if I do not agree with what the result may have been... we should pay respect to her all the same. She had been a very skilled songstress, and many will miss her.

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