1.17.2017

Clearly, This Is a Valid and Objective Comparison of Artists

Today at work, I engaged in a conversation with Matt regarding the recent Bon Iver release 22, A Million. We both agreed that it was underwhelming at best in comparison to For Emma, Forever Ago and Bon Iver. Not shocking analysis after being out for a few months and after however many reviews. Most reviews are pretty positive, some aren't. Mine is probably middling- nothing much really got my attention and seemed like Justin Vernon became enamored with production, etc. etc.

How I felt about the album is not the point of the post. The point is this: I believe that if Vernon makes another (in my opinion) sub par album, he will decline to the musical quality and relevance of Gotye. To help Matt get a nice visual of my projection, I made this graph in four minutes (three if I wasn't interrupted by a coworker):



This only projects out up to 2016 and his most recent output- this is science so I'm not going to make shit up. Matt believes that comparing him to Gotye as a negative is not valid: Gotye is pretty much a one-hit wonder, while Vernon has had three extremely well-received albums. Vernon also has influence in production with other artists across genres, where as we think Gotye is still recording?

I believe the comparison is valid because:

1. They are both white
2. Wikipedia describes their genres as "art pop" (just one of at least four listed. Apparently Bon Iver is also "Baroque pop", which is a new one. Does that mean it's really lavish and over-the-top? Does he reference Johannes Vermeer and get really emotional?).
3.They are kinda whiny?
4. Beards
5. If Vernon bombs, I can say he "got Gotyed!". Or something..

So, that to me is enough., but Matt says no. So here is the exercise:

If Justin Vernon fails - and I mean fails, not make an album that I myself didn't think was all that great- what artist can we compare him to at that point, using a failed release as hks absolute state orf relevancy and quality? Or, to make it more general, which currently relevant/successful artist would you compare to a one-off, middling artist should said successful artist drop off a cliff with their next release?

We will assume both Gallagher brothers are already nominated.

-Chris

4 comments:

Matt said...

Gotye guy didn't have a beard did he?

Matt said...

That is a hell of a chart though. I see a future in chart making if this music writing thing doesn't pan out.

Scott Witmer said...

Chris, your (admittedly awesome) chart is upside down. You can't compare Bon EEEvairrrrrr, to GoatYay.
Other than they both have ridiculous and impossible to spell alternative art egos.
Bong Iver has never experienced the career-defining joy of top 40 radio play. Baun Eyever has never had any memes made out of any of his lyrics. (I submit, as irrefutable proof, my exhaustive research, involving Googling "Gotye Meme" and pasting the first result here: https://www.pinterest.com/matscommaandrea/you-didn-t-need-to-cut-me-off/)
And you gotta admit that "Somebody That I Used to Know" is catchy AF. When's the last time a Bon Eatver song got stuck in your head? Never. That's when. There are exactly zero instances of humans singing "Holocene" in the elevator.
Aren't we ALL, in some way, both Gotier AND Bon Ifer? Can't we all just get along?

Chris said...

If Gotye didn't have a beard, it seems like he should have at some point.