#1
I'll delete this as soon as it turns into a shitstorm.

What, in your opinion, makes a piece of music "pretentious"? This is entirely subjective so all opinions are welcome.

Is it trying and failing to tackle difficult themes in the lyrics?
Is it unnecessary complexity in the structure of the music?
Is it more a matter of the composer's attitude than the music itself?
#3
Music isn't pretentious, artists and fans are.

edit: Beat me to it.

editedit: I'm gonna go ahead and say haters are pretentious as well.
Last edited by -[NiL]- at Sep 27, 2010,
#6
Tool.

Obscure lyrics and music videos 'far too deep for the fans to understand.'

See also: Bob Dylan's later years.
With our lives based on the hope for salvation
The humanist paradigm is nothing but a charade
Condemned to inertia: a passive race
We wait and contemplate

#7
NMH, Animal collective and so on.
No ego-inflating quotes nor stupidly long signatures to be found here.

Move along.

Bands/Artists of the month; Marco Sfogli, Marco Sfogli and Marco Sfogli .


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#8
Quote by ApeWeevil
Tool.

Obscure lyrics and music videos 'far too deep for the fans to understand.'

See also: Bob Dylan's later years.


Actually, Tool's music is very understandable. Of course not everything is cut and dry, but if that's what you're looking for you can always just listen to the radio.
#9
[quote="'-[NiL"]-']Music isn't pretentious, artists and fans are.
This is pretty much a /thread.

No music is pretentious, the artists who feel above the rest and the fans who look down on those who don't like it because it's too complex are.
---

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---
#10
Indie and Prog Metal if we're talking about instrumentally, but lyrics for any other genre can be just as pretentious. Mainly every other metal subgenre.
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#11
Quote by Shredoftheday
Indie and Prog Metal if we're talking about instrumentally, but lyrics for any other genre can be just as pretentious. Mainly every other metal subgenre.

How can Progressive Metal be instrumentally pretentious? Fast and complex compositions with a lot of notes are just one of many ways to express oneself through music. You can't label a genre pretentious, although the attitude and the meaning some bands give to their work certainly are.

Same thing with other Metal subgenres or Indie. It's not pretentious until the fans (and/or artist) start to claim such music is the only way to go, and everything else sucks.
---

"L'esclave parfait est celui qui croit être libre."

---
#12
All pretentiousness on Earth comes from Billy Corgan.
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#13
[quote="'-[NiL"]-']Music isn't pretentious, artists and fans are.

Pretty much. I'd define pretentiousness in terms of music as the better-than-everyone attitude one gets from making music (see Kanye West) or from listening to certain music (see the hipster movement).
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#14
Ok on a serious note, you know whats pretentious? MUSIC ELITISM.
No ego-inflating quotes nor stupidly long signatures to be found here.

Move along.

Bands/Artists of the month; Marco Sfogli, Marco Sfogli and Marco Sfogli .


Quote by steve_muse
^lol'd at the sig, adj209
#16
Quote by Gunpowder
Pretty much. I'd define pretentiousness in terms of music as the better-than-everyone attitude one gets from making music (see Kanye West) or from listening to certain music (see the hipster movement).

I'd call Kanye a special case, because his lyrics seem, at times, just as pretentious as he ever thought about being. Which makes him in touch with his music in a way that is pretty unique.
#17
All of those things you mentioned >

Either difficult themes in the lyrics, complexity in the structure of the music or the composer's general attitude to the music itself (or a combination of those elements) can make for a pretty darn pretentious piece of music

...however, that doesn't necessarily mean it sucks. Bands like Tool, Dream Theater or even Led Zeppelin for that matter have been responsible for TONS of pretentious music, but who cares really. The real question is: do they DELIVER?? Sure, Kashmir is an 8 and a half minute juggernaut with the most bombastic drumtrack you can think of, quasi-middle eastern riffs, epic lyrics and even a string section for gods sake... but it's a great song so who cares

I really don't understand people who dislike every piece of music that doesn't sound like it was written in 3 minutes by some singer/songwriter in his basement (or the other way around: prog heads who can't stand a song that doesn't feature odd time signatures and a 6-string bass...)

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Last edited by shwilly at Sep 27, 2010,
#19
Quote by blue_strat
Trying to be profound, but just sounding contrived.

Pretty much.

As for musicians, I think pretty much every great front man in rock music is a pretentious asshole.
Last edited by neidnarb11890 at Sep 27, 2010,
#21
I honestly only found freeform jazz to be a bit full if itself. Anyone who describes their own music as something that you "just have to get."
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#22
Webbinson, you probably could have picked a better example from that album.
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#23
I can't help but find some Indie music very pretentious. I like a lot of indie music, but i just can't get along with some stuff. The sort of stuff you'd find on the "juno" soundtrack just gets on my tits..We get it, you aren't mainstream.


EDIT: And i feel like if the people who write that music were to read my above comment, they'd kind of enjoy the fact that i don't get their music, you know? They seem like they really enjoy the "misunderstood artist thing" and their music projects that.

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Last edited by Jiggzy.UK at Sep 27, 2010,
#24
BAAAAAD BOOOYS ARE ALWAAAAYYYS CATCHING MYYYY EEEEYYYEEES!!!!

That, in my opinion, is ultimate pretentiousness; having lyrics with the deepness of a brick. It fits so wonderfully together with that Beyoence song though....
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#25
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Figure in black that points at me...


FUCKETH THINE SELF
#26
Quote by Chylyn
Webbinson, you probably could have picked a better example from that album.


Nah. Aggressive, simple structure, sets the teeth on edge. No wanking around or lyrics which could be construed as being pretentious. I suppose Fallen Angel could have done the job, but then again Red's one of their simpler albums if you ignore Providence.
#28
Something can only be properly called pretentious if it obviously attempts to achieve some standard and fails, i.e. the artist/writer wants the piece to be viewed as something that it obviously isn't.

Hence there should be a clearly apparent thematic or structural statement in the piece of music itself, that seems nonetheless incongruous with its actual underlying fabric.

Pretentious music is music that was written "to sound like" something that it is not.

If an artist employs a theme (like neoclassical shredding, operatic vocals, tribal drumming, whatever) in a piece of music, and it serves no artistic purpose (i.e. it seems superfluous) then it's probably pretentious.
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#30
Music itself CAN be pretentious, just as the fans of it can be.

The people who are labeling progressive music as pretentious are in the right mindset, but narrowly miss the mark. I think a lot of old school late 60's stuff (Days of A Future Passed, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, etc) could be considered pretentious because the bands didn't necessarily have a modicum of skill to back up their songwriting. They were merely experimenting with greater complexity of music as well as conceptual lyrics.

Compare that to a release like King Crimson's Discipline, where every song is served by it's use of technicality and polymeter. The whole point of pretentiousness is that it is trying to impress the fact that you are more talented/great then you actually are. If you look at more modern prog like The Mars Volta or Dream Theater, the musicians behind it are incredibly humble despite their overwhelming virtuosity.

That being said, the vast majority of today's indie rock comes off as pretentious, because very rarely do they have the compositional or technical skills that they try to come off as having. They try to come off as "original" by having 20 word song titles that are about the concept of some retarded Japanese folk story or something. All while indulging in 5 minute long post-rock breaks that serve no purpose to the song.

/rant
#31
Even though I'm a fan, Animal Collective seem very pretentious, as well as a lot of other indie bands.
#35
any band who thinks they are greater than any other form of music

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf8jvSPA3XQ


i fucking love that song
Gotta keep my eyes from the circling skies...
tounge tied and twisted just an earth bound misfit...

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#36
Quote by werty22
It's all pretentious. Everybody is pretentious.

Ах, так вы не пьете и не курите?
Хорошо для вас: вы здоровым умрете!
#37
Quote by shmikeyboy
If it's prog.



What is this that stands before me?

Figure in black that points at me...


FUCKETH THINE SELF
#38
Quote by BlitzkriegAir
Btbam


This

I love BTBAM but they've become some kind of icon for music elitism. A number of their fans think that listening to them puts them at the height of musical sophistication but instead it just turns them into snooty, arrogant dicks

A lot of prog is just weird for the sake of it. Fair enough it's doing something new but for the most part it seems like random noise
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