I’ve been a music reviewer on and off for the past three years. I’ve read and kept up with music reviews since long before. For most reviewers in this field, we work with the art of comparison. We ask questions like “has someone done this before and did they do it better?”, “Will someone who likes album X like album Y?”, “Why the hell does such and such an artist still put out records?” Unfortunately, sometimes music reviewers will get lazy. You can tell when a reviewer is getting lax because he or she will describe a new band as the new version of a pre-existing band. Suddenly said reviewer or a group of them are throwing this term around like a prison bitch at a gang-bang. It happened with Elvis, U2, and Nirvana amongst others. Nowadays it’s happening to Radiohead.
Now let’s get one thing straight: the only new Radiohead is the “Go To Sleep” single from their last album Hail To The Thief. To say that a new band is the new version of another band does disservice to both of bands in question. It places undue pressure on the new band to match the artistic merit and sales of its forerunner. The established band loses what made it so original in the first place with the success of its most likely unintentional usurper.
It is time to start clearing things up. I cannot mention every single example of using this phrase but here are a few that need correction.
Interpol is not the new Joy Division. Joy Division is a major influence to the bassist but the singing is entirely coincidental.
Britney Spears is not the new Madonna. Her career dried up much faster.
Justin Timberlake is not the new Michael Jackson much to the relief of children everywhere.
Nickelback, Creed, Default, Theory Of A Dead Man, Puddle Of Mudd, Forty Foot Echo, Saliva and Staind are not the new Pearl Jam. However, they all suck very, very badly.
The Tea Party are not the new Doors. No really, they’re not.
Abandoned Pools are not the new Smashing Pumpkins, but they are brilliant nonetheless.
Fountains Of Wayne and The Strokes are not the new Cars, no matter how hard they try.
Jeff Tweedy Of Wilco is not the new Lou Reed, he doesn’t have enough imaginary girlfriends.
Finally, Coldplay, Elbow, Doves, The Leaves, The Beta Band and anyone or anything else from the UK are not the new Radiohead. We already have one. That’s enough, thank you.