Point of View: Acoustic folk music creeping up the charts is promising for entire industry

By Jessica Acklen
A&E Editor

While Ke$ha is catchy and Lady Gaga is, well, intriguing, there is a new trend swelling in music that I am beginning to appreciate far more than the Glitteratzi tunes that became popular last year.

Folksy tunes are back in style and I could not be more thankful. With bands like Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros popping up on the iTunes charts, the shift from the hallow and autotuned pop songs is becoming apparent.

This, I think, is an important movement for music. For so long, music has become more about the show, the flash or the shock factor, but where has the real, moving and emotional music gone?

This year, Mumford & Sons presented a breathtaking and marvelous performance at the Grammys and finally, it seemed that true musicians who can play instruments – not Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson – were being appreciated.

Their performance was a striking juxtaposition to Gaga’s entrance to the Grammys in an egg. I’m sure that there were countless more news stories and Google searches related to her entrance than there were of Mumford & Sons’ performance (not to mention that in addition to her meat dress from last fall, Gaga is now a complete representation of “Green Eggs and Ham”).

However, I hope that audiences want to hear real music more. I personally love this resurgence of quality music and artists that write their songs and play their own instruments.

While it was fun to jam in our cars to “Tick Tock” and “Bad Romance” (and I will admit that I still like it sometimes), it is time to move on and let the meaningless, silly lyrics go.

Why settle for grotesque dance scenes and the shocking life of Lady Gaga’s wardrobe when we can have genuine, quality music?

British artists like Adele and Ellie Goulding display their talent, not their obscene ability to captivate an audience.

Ellie Goulding’s cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” is one of the prettiest tracks that I have heard in a long time and it would be hard to name a better CD than Adele’s “21.”

After becoming obsessed with these two artists’ crystal clear voices and sincere albums, it is hard to go back to the nothingness of Ke$ha, whose last video, “Blow,” featured a disturbing mix of James Van Der Beek from “Dawson’s Creek” and bizarre unicorns in suits and dresses.

I almost feel like these meaningless artists are tricking us. It’s like they think we are stupid enough to buy anything they put out, regardless of the quality of the music or taste of the video.

Well, I’m sticking to my guns. This new trend in folk music, which relies more on instruments (can Ke$ha even play anything?) and unique vocals than it does on showmanship, is my new cup of tea. I’m renouncing my old ways and growing up.

Maybe that presents another reason why my tastes have changed, because I am truly repulsed by Gaga’s latest song “Born this Way” and the subsequent video – where she births a whole race as their “Mother Monster.”

I grew out of my Britney/Christina phase, even if I still haven’t grown out of my *Nsync phase.

So, Gaga and Ke$ha, your gimmicks and getups were fun while they lasted but I’m choosing quality over superficial entertainment. Thankfully, Adele doesn’t wear meat dresses.

Jessica Acklen is a senior journalism and political science double major from Arlington. She is the arts and entertainment editor for the Lariat.