Bryan Adams — by force

Looking for a place to just sit and relax in Toronto’s Eaton Centre today, I ended up in a Starbucks. I was trying to get away from it all. There are so few places to sit peacefully downtown without paying for something. But having paid for the privilege (1 peppermint tea, 1 evil cookie), I was still unable to relax — Starbucks was playing the latest record by Bryan Adams from start to finish.
Don’t get me wrong — I used to be a fan of Bryan Adams. But his latest stuff is just awful. Adams, like many artists who have seen the big time, usually end up putting out soul-less music because they have nothing more to strive for.
I bristled with discomfort several times while being forced to listen. The music had no life, no memorable sounds or arrangements, and all the musicians who played on it sounded like they were just going through the motions.
I like to call this sort of music “non-music”. Currently, you can refer to anything by Sting, current Celine Dion, current Alanis Morisette. All these artists have also released ballads (the most common sign of an ailing songwriter) — telling of how wonderful life is, how we all have to look through the smog, and how we will see that everything is beautiful if we just think about it. I have to agree with that in fact, but I can’t help feeling uncomfortable when I hear it bundled in a lifeless song.
But my personal conclusion after listening to Bryan Adams today was this: there is just way too much mediocrity in everything. (Yeah, I know you know that, but it really stood out today.)
Is it grooming us all into mindless entertainment slaves?