Sunday, June 23, 2024

Hoverborg - The Good Stuff

This is one of the few times in my life when I've found it worthwhile to completely re-write a post. The bombshell that no human beings sing or play music on Hoverborg's The Good Stuff necessitated some further reflections. First things first: I won't retract my general assessment of the music. The Good Stuff remains a fantastic alt rock/power pop album that evokes a special time in popular music. I have no objections in principle to fictional bands and even referenced Josie and the Pussycats in my original review. These songs, while apparently performed by robots, were written by an actual human with considerable talent. The humor and humanity in these songs is very real. If part of this experiment was to discover if people would not be able to detect that it was an AI creation and would in fact love the album, then it's hard to deny that it was a successful endeavor. It was immediately well-received by me and several other people whose musical tastes I trust. I'll be totally honest: if I had known this album was an AI project, I would never have listened to it. Knowing what I know now, my reaction is not entirely negative. It's a mixture of being creeped out by the capabilities of this technology and surprised that the music came across so genuinely human. I mentioned how the joy that went into these songs was palpable. How hilarious is that observation now? In retrospect, so many things make sense now. We can understand why this band seemed to come out of nowhere, why those harmonies are so flawless, and how effortlessly Hoverborg managed to channel the sound of that dog., Letters to Cleo, Veruca Salt, etc. Has this made me less judgmental about bands/artists making some use of AI in the studio? Absolutely. But when it comes to being open-minded about AI bands, I'm still not there yet. What's for certain is that this technology is not going away, and it's going to have some place in music in the future.  

1 comment:

hoverborg said...

Apologies for making your head spin so many times! I really appreciate your honest thoughts shared here + the original post. It means a lot to me that the earnest elements of what I put into these songs resonated with someone else. :)

I'm struggling to wrap my head around the totality of everything related to Hoverborg, and that's only been compounded with the other areas I'm researching for the documentary film this is all a part of. The technology is already amazing... and it's still bad.

I'd love to chat with you in the next month or so, if you're interested, as part of the doc!