Karen: But it's gone now, at least the type of music I recognize as soul music is gone. There are a ton of 'vocalists' out there today, many of whom wouldn't have a career without artful production work and auto-tune, and as far as I'm concerned none of them can come close to performers like Aretha Franklin or Otis Redding. Gone are people singing and dancing and having a good time; now it seems like every performer has to come across as tough and menacing. Everything is so much grimmer. It actually parallels the way comics have gone, now that I think of it. I mean, you'd never see five guys wearing lemon yellow suits singing and dancing nowadays. They'd be laughed off the stage. But the Temptations were amazing performers with great songs.
Karen: And as I get older, I come to appreciate certain songs more and more, like this one by the Queen of Soul:
Karen: Of course Soul's roots are in Gospel music, which is very evident when performed by certain singers, such as Aretha. I suppose over time it only makes sense that Black music would change, just as all music does. But I confess I miss the more upbeat, melodic sounds of the 60s and 70s. I guess that's just where my brain is stuck and what I prefer. Sure, my Itunes has some rap songs in it, but you'll find far more Smokey than Jay-Z. What about you? Do you enjoy a little soul in your day? Who really gets you smiling or singing along?