The Daily Grind Video

The biggest critique I get when it comes to my music is that it’s not “edgy” enough.   Besides the fact that I’m terrible at taking criticism (I’m working on it…), this feedback is particularly challenging because I’m not exactly sure what it means.  I know WHO is perceived as edgy – Lady GaGa, post-Umbrella Rihanna – but to me they’re edgy because of their images and outlandish clothing choices.
When it comes down to the lyrics and melody, I don’t hear it.  I guess on Rated R Rihanna sings an extended gun-related metaphor on “Russian Roulette” and leaves nothing to the imagination on the sex-romp “Rude Boy”, but her breakout Good Girl Gone Bad feels as mainstream as slickly-produced R&B/Pop crossover gets.  Don’t get me wrong, that album is extraordinary, but edgy musically?  I definitely don’t hear it.



And as for Lady GaGa, today’s queen of edgy, I am at a complete loss. While she laments that her songs have some sort of artistic hidden meanings that we earthlings can’t grasp, but her track with Beyoncé is about not wanting to answer your cell phone when you’re at a club, right? The video for said track is ten minutes long, features incredible dance sequences, an eye-popping Kill Bill-esque color
palette, and some mass murders so I guess that makes her edgy.  While I’m glad GaGa’s around to make the visuals of music exciting again, musically I feel like she’s making skillfully crafted mainstream dance-pop and there’s nothing wrong with that! Just don’t put a funny wig on its head and tell me it’s high art because I ain’t buying it.

So, what’s an aspiring artist to do when he’s told he’s not edgy enough.  I guess my options are A) get tatted up, B) start wearing “guyliner” or C) stay true to myself.  Whenever I get to these junctures in my career, I always think WWBD – What would Babyface do? People don’t love his music because he is always trying to push the envelope. People love his music because it’s sincere, heartfelt and beautifully written.  So I think I’ll stick with option C for the time being.

Now, let me leave you with a new track I’m really feeling lately.  I’m not sure where Shontelle falls on the edgy spectrum, but her ballad “Impossible” is one of my favorite new songs out right now.  R&B ballads are having trouble getting traction on radio these days, but if any song can do it, I believe “Impossible” can:

<param name='allowful