Posted by Melody McCune | Nov 21, 2020 | Music, Representation Matters | 0
Music is my life, and it’s been my saving grace amid a year laden with unending trauma and turmoil. I love discovering new artists and bands to groove to and 2020 has provided time aplenty to do just that. Recently, I was listening to a playlist curated by punk duo Nova Twins entitled “Voices for the Unheard” on Spotify. It amplifies Black alternative artists and bands that deserve the spotlight. I was taken aback by the talent on said playlist and just how many of these acts initially flew under my radar. Thus, this article came to fruition.
Below, I’ve included some highlights from the playlist that I loved, along with a few Black alternative artists/bands that weren’t on the playlist. Peruse at your leisure, and be sure to add these supremely talented acts to your musical rotation!
Pictured: (L to R): Jason Aalon Butler, Stephen Harrison and Aric Improta for Music Matters Media. Photo credit: Chuck Marcus.
FEVER 333is a hip-hop / punk hybrid whose messages of activism ring clearly amid blistering guitar riffs and guttural vocals. Jason Aalon Butler(originally ofletlive.),Stephen HarrisonandAric Improtacome together to create searing politically charged anthems regarding the current state of affairs. It’s bold, brash and brutal. Just the way I like my hip-hop / punk fusions. “BURN IT,” from their full-length albumSTRENGTH IN NUMB333RS,was my introduction to FEVER 333. It’s an in-your-face battle cry that propagates the message of burning down old systems like systemic racism in order to truly rebuild for the better. It’s a vital message that the world needs to hear.
Pictured: Militia Vox
Yes, I’ve written aboutMilitia Voxbefore. But it bears repeating: give her a listen. Hands down, she has one of the best rock voices I’ve ever heard, and I listen to a boatload of rock music. Her cover of TOOL‘s “46 & 2” manages to evoke the same aura of the original version while putting her own spin on it. Industrial metal is a huge influence, but she’s also inspired by classical music. This is definitely evident in the arrangements of some of her tunes. Vox is also in a band calledJudas Priestessthat covers, you guessed it, Judas Priestjams. It’s just as badass as you think it is. Militia Vox should be a staple in the metal world. Fun fact: she has a four-octave range.
Meet Me @ The Altar
Pictured (L to R): Téa Campbell, Edith Johnson and Ada Juarez for MusicWeek. Photo credit: Lindsey Byrnes.
If you’re like me and you love old schoolParamore, then pop punk outfitMeet Me @ The Altaris the answer to both of our prayers.Edith Johnson(lead vocals),Téa Campbell(lead guitar, bass guitar) and Ada Juarez (drums) comprise Meet Me @ The Altar, although Johnson joined the fray later than the rest. The band just signed with Fueled By Ramen this year, which was Paramore’s old label. Johnson’s vocals are pitch perfect for this genre and I’m happy to see them carving their niche in the pop punk world. Long live pop punk, says 2005 Melody! Check out “Garden,” their latest single, for all the catchy, punky goodness.
Sophia Urista with Brass Against
Pictured: vocalist Sophia Urista with Brass Against for Revolver Magazine. Photo credit: Shervin Lainez.
IfRage Against the Machineand the brass section of a jazz band had a baby,Brass Againstwould be the result of that lovemaking. Brass Against is a massive compilation of brass instrumentalists and a bevy of vocalists. While they’ve had multiple singers amid their tenure,Sophia Uristahas become a mainstay for the band. Frankly, her tracks are my favorites. Urista and Brass Against are a beautiful union of in-your-face, punchy vocals and brass instrumentation. They cover a wide array of punk songs, notably “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine and “My Own Summer (Shove It)” byDeftones. If you think that “Killing in the Name” would sound less badass with brass at the forefront, let me tell you this: it sounds exponentiallymorebadass.
Pictured: Georgia South and Amy Love for Fringe Frequency. Photo credit: Sanaa Abstrakt.
What is there to say about Nova Twins that I haven’t already said? I realize I covered them previously, but I feel their signal needs another boost from yours truly. Without their “Voices for the Unheard” playlist, I wouldn’t have discovered the majority of the artists / bands on this list. Georgia Southprovides slap-happy bass riffs while Amy Lovebrings the gritty vocals and searing guitar notes.Who Are the Girls?still gets regular playtime from me. It’s a perfectly feminist punk installment that ups my own badass factor tenfold when I listen to it. It’s the epitome of empowerment. If you want to know who the girls are, then give Nova Twins a listen.
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Pictured: SATE. Photo credit: Mike Highfield.
Toronto artistSATEbrings the funk and the rock. Her music is the perfect mixture of rock, gritty funk and bluesy soul. She has one of the best rock voices in the business. Her full-length album,RedBlack&Blue, is rife with empowerment and invigoration. “Warrior” was the track that struck a chord with me and I’m sure you’ll be hooked too. My new dream is to see SATE and Militia Vox sing a duet together. The world needs this. Her most recent single, “Dirty Little Lie,” is a good time and a half. If you love dirty, funky rock, you’ll love SATE. I have no doubt.
Pictured (L to R): Kami “KI” Bellevue, Matty Mayz, Jafe Paulino and Demi “Deee” Bellevue for Billboard Magazine. Photo credit: Aaron “Ignatius” Ortiz.
Oxymorronshave successfully blended hip-hop and rock for a wholly unique sound that’s their own. Warning: listening to their musicwillmake you want to rage against the machine.Kami “KI” Bellevue andDemi “Deee” Bellevueprovide vocals whileMatty Mayzplays drums andJafe Paulinoadds vocals, guitar and bass to the mix. Additionally, Oxymorrons recently brought lead guitarist Adam November into the fold. Their latest single, “Justice,” is a bastion of amplification for the Black Lives Matter movement. Oxymorrons aim to “speak for, and to, the rejected.” You can’t listen to this band without feeling a burst of uninhibited energy.
Pictured (L to R): Estella Adeyeri, Chardine Taylor-Stone and Stephanie Phillips for Louder. Photo credit: Elise Rose.
Big Joanieis a Black feminist punk band that hails from the UK. The trio consists of Chardine Taylor-Stone (drums and vocals), Stephanie Phillips (guitar and vocals) and Estella Adeyeri (bass and vocals). They’ve extensively toured with popular feminist punk actsBikini KillandSleater-Kinney. I’d say their music is highly influenced by the aforementioned, but I also get faint Holevibes when I listen to them. “Fall Asleep” from their full-length albumSistahswas my introduction to Big Joanie. I haven’t looked back since. Be sure to check out their latest double single Cranes In the Sky, and you’ll get a taste of the slight Hole vibes I’m referring to. Big Joanie is the raw punk cure for what ails you.
The New Respects
Pictured (L to R): Darius Fitzgerald, Lexi Fitzgerald, Jasmine Mullen and Zandy Fitzgerald at Lollapalooza. Photo credit: Roman Sobus.
The New Respectsis a family affair. Twins Zandy Fitzgerald and Lexi Fitzgerald, brother Darius Fitzgerald and cousin Jasmine Mullen comprise a multi-faceted musical act that infuses pop, soul and rock ‘n roll. “Trouble,” their most popular tune from 2018 albumBefore the Sun Goes Down, was the song that got me hooked. Their cover of “You Should Be Dancing” by theBee Gees was featured in Netflix’sTo All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. Full disclosure: I actually prefer The New Respects’ version. Their music is infectious and mood elevating. You can’t help but feel a rush of serotonin when listening to them. If you love old school soul and pop, you’ll dig The New Respects.
Pictured: Shingai Shoniwa. Photo credit: Mario Testino.
Shingaiis the lead vocalist / bassist for UK indie rock outfit The Noisettes, but since 2019 she’s been churning out music as a solo artist. Her debut solo album, Too Bold, was just released last month. What really struck me about Shingai was the seamless blending of genres in her music. There are definitely elements of soul, pop, indie and plenty of intriguing instrumentation. Her Spotify page cites her sound as “inspired by her London, Bantu and Zimbabwean heritage, which gives ‘Too Bold’ an effervescent soundscape spirit, which is both electrifying and compelling.” I’m always on the lookout for pop artists who take bold risks musically, and Shingai does that and then some. If you like ethereal soundscapes unlike anything you’ve heard before, you’ll love Shingai.
Honorable Mention: Infinity Song
Pictured (L to R): Abraham Boyd, MoMo Boyd, Victory Boyd, Angel Boyd and Israel Boyd. Photo credit: Angel Boyd.
Family bands are the best bands. That’s just straight up fact. Detroit’sInfinity Song boasts Abraham Boyd, MoMo Boyd, Victory Boyd, Angel Boyd and Israel Boyd. They started performing publicly at a young age, hitting the streets of the Big Apple in the hopes of sharing their immense talents with the world. There’s just something so calming about their music. It’s rife with breathtaking harmonies, soulful melodies and sweet rhythmic sounds. Their tone really lives in the jazz, soul, acoustic, pop and cinematic musicscape. I recently discovered them on Twitter when they did a wonderful rendition of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. I was smitten from the start. Infinity Song’s debut album, Mad Love, was released last month. Give “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright” a listen. It’s a comforting respite from the cataclysmic world we currently live in.
RELATED: 18 Black Female TV Characters We Love and Support
What are your favorite Black alternative artists and bands? Sound off in the comments below! Be sure to check out Nova Twins’ “Voices for the Unheard” playlist on Spotify here.
This article was originally published on 11/6/20
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What I do: I'm Managing Editor, Senior Contributor, and Press Coordinator. I manage, contribute, and coordinate. Sometimes all at once. Joking aside, I oversee day-to-day operations for GGA, write, edit, and assess interview opportunities/press events.
Who I am: Before moving to Los Angeles after studying theater in college, I was born and raised in Amish country, Ohio. No, I am not Amish, even if I sometimes sport a modest bonnet. Bylines in: Culturess, Sideshow Collectibles, inkMend on Medium. I love cheese. I love geek. I love lamp.
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Red Hot Chili Peppers
The band would go on to incorporate elements of funk, punk, and psychedelic rock. They are known as one of the most successful bands in history by constantly leading the Billboard charts.
The darker bands are called anisotropic bands (A bands). Together the I-bands and A-bands contribute to the striated appearance of skeletal muscle. Isotropic bands indicate the behavior of polarized light as it passes through I bands.Who is the king of alt-rock? ›
|Kurt Cobain||King of Alternative Rock||United States|
|Keyshia Cole||Princess of Hip Hop Soul||United States|
|Jacob Collier||Jazz's New Messiah||United Kingdom|
|Yeng Constantino||OPM Pop Rock Princess||Philippines|
- 1. “ Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.
- 2. “ Cannonball” by The Breeders.
- 3. “ Loser” by Beck.
- 4. “ Song 2” by Blur.
- 5. “ Karma Police” by Radiohead.
- 6. “ 1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins.
- 7. “ Everlong” by Foo Fighters.
- 8. “ Where is My Mind?” by Pixies.
The Ramones have been widely regarded as one of the most influential bands of all time, up there with the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd.Who is the number 1 rock band in the world? ›
|1||The Beatles||289.3 Million|
|2||The Rolling Stones||102.4 Million|
|3||Pink Floyd||123.4 Million|
|4||Beach Boys||32.5 Million|
1. Elvis Presley. Is this too obvious? He is known as the King of Rock 'n' Roll, but setting aside many nicknames that were offered to this inexplicable force, Elvis was gonna do Elvis.What is the darkest band in history? ›
- 1 Mayhem Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, regarded as one of the pioneers of the Norwegian black metal scene. ...
- 2 Darkthrone Darkthrone is a Norwegian black metal band. ...
- 3 Gorgoroth Gorgoroth is a Norwegian black metal band based in Bergen. ...
- 4 Sunn O)))
|Also known as||Musta|
|Years active||1984–1993 1995–present|
Emo broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s with the sales success of Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional, with the genre's popularity continuing in the mid-to-late 2000s with bands such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
The origins of alternative rock can be traced back to The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) by the Velvet Underground, which influenced many alternative rock bands that would come after it.Is Billie Eilish an alternative artist? ›
Billie Eilish's music is classified within alternative pop, indie pop and electropop genres. Billie has been making music since her first debut single “Ocean Eyes” which was written and produced in 2015 by her brother Finneas. Her latest album is titled, “Happier Than Ever” which was released on July 30, 2021.Is Taylor Swift an alternative artist? ›
One can say Swift defines the music industry with 14 years of experience and albums that span from country to pop and now folk and alternative music.Who is the Queen of Pop now? ›
Beyoncé Beyoncé is more than just one of the most famous people in the world: She's redefined music success and become an inspiration for women around the globe.Who is the queen of alt-rock? ›
Morissette has won seven Grammy Awards, fourteen Juno Awards, one Brit Award, and has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. She has been dubbed the "Queen of Alt-Rock Angst" by Rolling Stone.Who is the Prince of R&B? ›
|Genres||Funk rock R&B pop soul|
|Labels||Warner Bros. Paisley Park NPG EMI Columbia Arista Universal|
- 1 Timcast - Genocide (Losing My Mind) New entry - released today! ...
- 2 Avril Lavigne - I'm a Mess (with YUNGBLUD) ...
- 3 Imagine Dragons - Bones. ...
- 4 Lewis Capaldi - Forget Me. ...
- 5 AJR - World's Smallest Violin. ...
- 6 Rosa Linn - SNAP. ...
- 7 The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army. ...
- 8 Glass Animals - Heat Waves.
- I'm Good (Blue) David Guetta & Bebe Rexha. David Guetta & Bebe Rexha. ...
- Left and Right (feat. Jung Kook) Charlie Puth & Jung Kook. ...
- Shivers. Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran. ...
- Levitating. Dua Lipa. Dua Lipa. ...
- Unholy. Sam Smith & Kim Petras. ...
- The Motto. Tiësto & Ava Max. ...
- Loser. Charlie Puth. ...
- 2 Be Loved (Am I Ready) Lizzo.
Alt-Rock Godfather Perry Farrell.Who is the loudest rock band of all time? ›
In 1972, The Guinness Book Of Records crowned Deep Purple the world's loudest band after 117 decibels were registered at London's Rainbow Theatre. Drummer Ian Paice said: “Rock'n'roll went to a different level. The volume leapt up incredibly.”
Between his propensity to leave waitstaff $1000 tips, and other numerous charitable acts, Dave Grohl has earned a reputation of being “the nicest guy in rock.”Who is the heaviest band ever? ›
- Motörhead. A classic hitter, super intense for the time and they definitely set the standard for other bands and influenced many after them. ...
- Slayer. ...
- Pantera. ...
- Death. ...
- Cannibal Corpse. ...
- Lil Thrash. ...
- Gorguts. ...
- LED ZEPPELIN - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in concert. ...
- QUEEN - BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. ...
- LYNYRD SKYNYRD - FREE BIRD. ...
- DEEP PURPLE - SMOKE ON THE WATER. ...
- PINK FLOYD - COMFORTABLY NUMB. ...
- LED ZEPPELIN - KASHMIR.
|1||Michael Jackson||Pop, Soul, Funk, R&B, Rock, Disco, & Dance|
|2||Stevie Wonder||Soul, Pop, R&B, Funk, & Jazz|
|3||Marvin Gaye||Soul, R&B, Funk, Pop, & Jazz|
|4||Freddie Mercury||Hard Rock, Music Hall, Glitter, & Prog Rock|
The most popular female artist currently goes to Taylor Swift, while BTS are unsurprisingly the most popular band.Who is the goat of rock and roll? ›
Who is the real G.O.A.T.? According to majority of our listeners… The Greatest Of All Time is… LED ZEPPELIN!Who is the greatest front man of all time? ›
- 7: Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses) ...
- 6: Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) ...
- 5: Debbie Harry (Blondie) ...
- 4: Jim Morrison (The Doors) ...
- 3: Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders) ...
- 2: Freddie Mercury (Queen) ...
- 1: Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones)
Any list of the greatest live performers in music today rightfully begins with the legends — the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2, Neil Young, and my vote for the greatest live performer of all time, Bruce Springsteen.What is the scariest band ever? ›
- Slayer - Topic. 47.6K subscribers. Dead Skin Mask. ...
- ChampionshipHardcore. 8.43K subscribers. ...
- Gwar Unofficial. 8.75K subscribers. ...
- Gwar Unofficial. 8.75K subscribers. ...
- No Deal. 32.2K subscribers. ...
- Seconds. 1.73K subscribers. ...
- The True Mayhem Official. 132K subscribers. ...
- TDLte. 118 subscribers.
From Aretha Franklin to Prince and Miles Davis, the most influential Black musicians of all time have made the music world what it is today. The roots of pop, jazz, soul, R&B, hip-hop, gospel, house, folk and disco music can all be traced to Black musicians.
- Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) ...
- Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) ...
- Ray Charles (1930-2004) ...
- Michael Jackson (1958-2009) ...
- Duke Ellington (1899-1974) ...
- Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) ...
- Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) ...
Known as The Big Four, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer continue to cast an unavoidable shadow over contemporary metal.Who is the king of black metal? ›
|King ov Hell|
|Birth name||Tom Cato Visnes|
|Also known as||King, TC King|
|Born||27 November 1974|
|Genres||Black metal, doom metal, hard rock|
- Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath.
- Slipknot – The Virus Of Life.
- Korn – Daddy.
- Slayer – Dead Skin Mask.
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets.
- Nine Inch Nails – Closer.
- Guns N' Roses – Civil War.
- Faith No More – Jizzlobber.
Since the early to mid 2000s, fans of emo music who dress like this are referred to as "emo kids" or "emos" and known for listening to bands like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights, The Used, and AFI.What is a emo kid? ›
Teenagers use this slang term to characterize sensitive kids who follow emo music, dress in black, and have self-destructive tendencies. The slang term is derived from fans of emotive hardcore punk rock.What is alternative music today? ›
In its purest form, alternative music is the polar opposite of pop music — yet because popular music is what most people are familiar with today, the term “alternative” is used loosely. It also includes various styles and genres, ranging from Indie Rock to Punk, and even Gothic music.Is alternative rock considered emo? ›
Emo music is a subgenre of punk rock, indie rock, and alternative rock music defined by its heavy emotional expression. Emo is part of the post-hardcore band scene, with artists delving into songs with more substance and feeling.What makes a band alternative? ›
Throughout much of its history, alternative rock has been largely defined by its rejection of the commercialism of mainstream culture. Alternative bands during the 1980s generally played in small clubs, recorded for indie labels, and spread their popularity through word of mouth.Why did Billie Eilish unfollowed? ›
Billie Eilish appears to have unfollowed every account on Instagram after allegedly vowing to unfollow accounts of abusers. On Wednesday, fans of the singer noticed that the 18-year-old no longer follows any account on the social media platform, while she continues to be followed by 64.8 million users.
I'm in a very neutral position. I'm open to every belief pretty much." Despite not adhering to a specific religious framework, the artist said she wouldn't class herself as an atheist because she still hopes that God exists. “[I love] the idea that there's a God," Eilish explained.Is Billie Eilish a feminist? ›
She never thought about it twice. Never in her life let people frame her, never follows anything or anybody except herself and her dreams, and that's what makes Billie Eilish a great artist. That is exactly what makes her an iconic feminist without even admitting it.Is Coldplay considered alternative? ›
Coldplay are known as a rock band. However, their music is often categorized as alternative rock, but the band has also been inspired by other genres such as indie, folk, and electronic music. Their songs often have a melancholy feel to them, contributing to their widespread popularity.What is Taylor Swift fan group called? ›
They're called Swifties.Why was mural removed from Taylor Swift? ›
But according to TMZ, the guy who painted the mural is working on a piece focused solely on Taylor. Allegedly, she was removed from the Legends' mural because of her jump into pop music and the change occurred when Miranda Lambert was added.› tag › alternative › artists ›
Top alternative artists
100 Greatest Alternative Music Artists
Is Billie Eilish An Alternative Rocker Or A Pop Star? According To ...
Alternative bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Beck, and Nine Inch Nails cracked pop charts early in their existence. Some were signed to major labels, making alternative rock inherently more mainstream than indie rock bands on independent record labels.What is an alternate in a band? ›
The lowest scoring marchers are assigned as alternates. Each alternate is either an A or a B, and every A is paired with a B and that pair shares a marching spot for the main show.What makes a band alternative? ›
Throughout much of its history, alternative rock has been largely defined by its rejection of the commercialism of mainstream culture. Alternative bands during the 1980s generally played in small clubs, recorded for indie labels, and spread their popularity through word of mouth.What does it mean if a band is alternative? ›
Definition of alternative music
: music that is produced by performers who are outside the musical mainstream, that is typically regarded as more eclectic, original, or challenging than most popular music (such as conventional rock, pop, or country), and that is often distributed by independent record labels.
The origins of alternative rock can be traced back to The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) by the Velvet Underground, which influenced many alternative rock bands that would come after it.What is alternative music today? ›
In its purest form, alternative music is the polar opposite of pop music — yet because popular music is what most people are familiar with today, the term “alternative” is used loosely. It also includes various styles and genres, ranging from Indie Rock to Punk, and even Gothic music.What is alternative music called today? ›
Alternative music (also called alternative rock, alt-rock, or simply alternative) is considered to be any of various styles of experimental rock music that typically differs from mainstream rock music. Alternative bands are defined by their style and dedication rather than their given genre.What are the 3 types of band? ›
Symphonic Band is a group of musicians playing brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. Marching band is a band that marches and plays music usually performing at athletic functions or community activities. Jazz band is a musical ensemble that plays jazz music.What is a band of 2 called? ›
The terms duo, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, octet, nonet and decet describe groups of two up to ten musicians, respectively.What is an alternative to rap? ›
Alternative Rap refers to hip-hop groups that refuse to conform to any of the traditional stereotypes of rap, such as gangsta, funk, bass, hardcore, and party rap. Instead, they blur genres, drawing equally from funk and pop/rock, as well as jazz, soul, reggae, and even folk.Can I form my own band? ›
Once you've got your name, your look, and your songs, it's time to start playing some shows. To do that, you'll need to convince venue owners to let you play there. The first step is to build an Electronic Press Kit, or an EPK. This is basically a music industry resume for bands.Is Linkin Park considered alternative rock? ›
Categorized as alternative rock, Linkin Park's earlier music spanned a fusion of heavy metal and hip hop, while their later music features more electronica and pop elements. Linkin Park performing in October 2010. From left to right: Joe Hahn, Dave Farrell, Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon and Chester Bennington.Can a band play without bass? ›
A Bass player is not needed in order to have a functional band. While most bands prefer having a bassist, there are numerous bands who have filled the role of the bassist with different instruments or chosen to neglect it completely. The bass guitar typically plays lower frequencies in the 40hz to 200hz range.What is it called when a band pretends to be another band? ›
A tribute act, tribute band or tribute group is a music group, singer, or musician who specifically plays the music of a well-known music act.
In many cases, two-member bands omit a drummer, since guitars, bass guitars, and keyboards can all be used to provide a rhythmic pulse. Other examples of two-member bands are MGMT, WZRD, Pet Shop Boys, Hella, Flight of the Conchords, the Ting Tings, They Might Be Giants (from 1982 to 1992) and T.Why do people like Alternativerock? ›
Alternative rock bands typically, not always, have more meaning that the stereotypical screamo/hard rock/punk/grunge bands. The also have a softer tone to them that almost everybody has grown up with. This genre of rock has soul, meaning, and relates to people better than most other music genres, wether rock or not.