Beyonce Cowboy Carter album cover

Cowboy Carter & The Watchtower

Beyonce released her latest album Cowboy Carter and it smashed the charts with early chatter of “this may finally be her Grammy winning album” album.

From the Queen herself:
"The joy of creating music is that there are no rules," says Beyoncé. "The more I see the world evolving the more I felt a deeper connection to purity. With artificial intelligence and digital filters and programming, I wanted to go back to real instruments, and I used very old ones. I didn't want some layers of instruments like strings, especially guitars, and organs perfectly in tune. I kept some songs raw and leaned into folk. All the sounds were so organic and human, everyday things like the wind, snaps and even the sound of birds and chickens, the sounds of nature."

Look up Youtube videos on production and you’ll be told to copy paste the same MIDI pattern on multiple instruments to create new and interesting sounds.

You’ll find multiple plugins to distort, twist, attenuate, shift, morph, destroy, and any other way you can think to shape a sound.

Then layer that and EQ it.

Use that quantize feature to mimic the human feel.

It’s become the norm of music production.

It’s not wrong.

As Beyonce said above, "The joy of creating music is that there are no rules,"

And in a world where there are no rules, you can go the opposite direction as Beyonce did with Cowboy Carter.

As AI becomes more prevalent in music production and the DAW marketing growing - is this the direction we’re headed?

A natural, organic sound. Raw and imperfect.

The classic song All Along The Watchtower by Bob Dylan (though I prefer the Jimi Hendrix version), is beautifully written.

The lyrics can be interpreted a number of ways but, it has undertones of finding away out against what's become an ill-fated norm, a lifestyle that's become a joke.

It pulls on self-reflection and growth, and rebellion and fighting back.

It strikes parallels to the production style on Cowboy Carter - an album that is a stark contrast to what's become normal in music production. A world where Beyonce may have once been in but realized "this is not our fate".

And of course, the riders on the horse all tie it together.

Your thoughts on the future of music production and if we'll see more of what we're seeing with Cowboy Carter?

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