A couple months ago now, in maybe my first one of these pieces, I talked about why I think the White Stripes have a good case for being one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, particularly out of those in the recent years. One of the main points in my argument focused on the fact that they were a duo, with not as many resources or minds as other great rock projects (especially in the early beginnings). But looking back on that statement and analysis, I question whether or not that should be taken into consideration when rating projects, bands, songs, etc. There’s definite arguments on each side, and even though they may have less resources than someone else, should they be given more credit? Higher ratings? Or any sort of extra praise?
The first and most obvious argument for “no,” is that at the end of the day, if both products are of the same quality (which we’re just going to assume here), the credit should that’s given should be equal. After all, teachers don’t give students grades based on their individual expectations of the people, and how that lines up with their work (or, at least, they shouldn’t). While yes, if the quality of the product is identical, one shouldn’t necessarily be ranked higher than the other. A mediocre indie song definitely shouldn’t be rated a 7/10 because they’re poor, or not as well-produced. So I don’t think how well off the band is should factor into how good you rate their music. I try my best to look at music in its own vacuum when I’m rating it, or more often than not, with just the context of their past, larger work.
But does that mean it’s just as impressive for a millionaire songwriter to write a good song, than it is for a 15-year-old with a laptop to achieve the same feat? I don’t think so. I do more or less stick with my previous statements when looking at the White Stripes. I think it is incredibly impressive for them to have created such great music as a rock duo, and I think that (while the music itself shouldn’t be rated higher) it’s fair to be very impressed by a smaller group, if they create music that’s on-par with larger groups. Being more impressive doesn’t make someone “better,” per se, but it can just mean they’re slightly higher in someone’s minds, because they’ve done quite a lot with what they’ve had.
So while I don’t necessarily thing more credit, or better ratings should be gifted to these lesser-known, lower-budget bands, I do think it’s okay to give them more attention or even a little bit of extra praise. I personally find it very impressive for something great to come out of something so confined, and maybe if they were given more to work with, they could create a masterpiece. We’ll never know unless they somehow get those resources they deserve, and that only comes with more attention and more money, so maybe a little more for them isn’t such a bad thing.
At the end of the day, it’s all opinion anyways, and no one is technically objectively better than one another. I just like to give credit where credit is due, and I love to watch talented bands flourish.