On musical creativity

james-and-carlyJames Taylor has produced more than 16 albums that sound relatively the same. He gets bored too,* but he doesn’t need to break out of that mold to stay alive. I truly like his sound, but it has not changed much over the many years he has been a musician.

Some artists are limited by their creativity and others seem to have a bottomless fount.

Thom Yorke is the leader of the English group, “Radiohead,” that produced some very popular music during the 1990’s and 2000’s. Thom’s solo albums are weird. He went from almost mainstream pop in Radiohead’s early years to excursions down various trails of weirdness. My theory is that he was bored delivering what the masses wanted. (I like that weirdness, at least part of the time. And he stretched music in new ways that it needed to be stretched.)

There are countless musicians who have not created even one good song. A few of those have become rich making their sound available to the masses. There is no accounting for taste. And I’m glad everyone’s taste is not like mine.

* The James Taylor song, “That’s Why I’m Here” is referred to part of the way into Sylviebead’s blog post.

Photo is Creative Commons licensed, via Peter Trudelle on Flickr.

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4 Replies to “On musical creativity”

  1. I wonder how much he likes performing Fire and Rain. It’s one of a handful of his songs that I don’t get tired of. 

    U2 has tried a fair amount of variety, as has REM. Knopfler delved deep into American folk after his Sultans of Swing days.

  2. If I could make one piece of art that was as good as one James Taylor song, I would feel like I had fulfilled my potential as an artist.

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