Milquetoast Kenny G Rock???
July 27, 2012 10:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a specific artist, or a specific sound. I heard a motorcycle guy blasting music out of his speakers, and it was a sort of rock, not quite arena rock, but something like it. The main description I can think of is "Kenny G Rock" for it was utterly milquetoast and non-offensive and yet...

Well as I said, he was blasting it, and blasting it for a good 5 minutes if not more while I filled up my gas. Normally I associate that kind of blasting with very hard loud music, either some sort of metal or hip-hop with a lot of bass. But not this. As I said it was milquetoast. I feel like most arena rock was harder than this. But it wasn't exactly soft. It definitely was rock, and had all the right qualities to be rock. The production was very high quality, and it almost sounded as if it was done by very talented studio musicians.

Can anyone think of any rock that verges on the arena rock sound but doesn't really offend or have any depth? I would say the vocals were almost a sort of operatic style, but the music was not particularly moving like one would expect an operatic song to be.

As I said, it was milquetoast kenny g rock.

Any ideas whatsoever that this could be? Because damned if I don't want to find out and play it for people to say "SEE SEE! This exists!"
posted by symbioid to Media & Arts (36 answers total)
Response by poster: Also - there may have been a mention of an eagle soaring, but that might just be what I think the song should have been about. Heh.
posted by symbioid at 10:45 AM on July 27, 2012

A biker blasting music with a lyric involving eagles brings Steve Miller's Fly Like An Eagle to mind. Soft Rock/Yacht Rock, maybe?
posted by jquinby at 10:53 AM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: Nope. It was more operatic vocals than that. And maybe some of the non-offensiveness was due to the lack of heavy heavy bass in his sound system. But it seems as if Fly Like an Eagle was harder than that. There was no synth in it, it was all drums/bass/guitar... I'm almost positive it was something newer than the 70s... In fact I'd hazard that it's fairly modern due to some of the sound of it... But of course, I could be wrong. It wasn't really bluesy in the way that a lot of that 70s stuff, it seems more 80s rock than that.
posted by symbioid at 10:58 AM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: Also - definitely not soft rock - more "rockin" than that but somehow less rocking at the same time.
posted by symbioid at 10:59 AM on July 27, 2012

John Mellencamp? John Mayer? Gin Blossoms?

This is so vague it's hard to answer. Any more specifics would be helpful. I'm assuming it was a male singer?
posted by John Cohen at 11:01 AM on July 27, 2012

I'm going to take a wild guess and say Coldplay. Milquetoast arena rock is their specialty.

Could it have been Christian rock?
posted by muddgirl at 11:03 AM on July 27, 2012

I have to ask: how confident are you in your usage of 'milquetoast'? It sounded strange to me, and double-checking it in my dictionary, I'm not sure I'm finding a definition which applies here so I'm left somewhat confused at your description. I'm guessing you're shooting for "bland", maybe?

In any case, operatic rock definitely makes me think of Nightwish. Something like this?
posted by losvedir at 11:05 AM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: It was a male singer, that much is true. I wish I had more specifics. It wasn't like 90s alternative pop, so not Gin Blossoms. John Mayer is more rocking than this. Mellencamp is too gruff in his tone. The singer had a very very clear professional tone, not much grime or dirt to it at all. More like wailing 90s arena rock.

Hmm - that Nightwish sounds very close - I don't think that was it, exactly, but it's closer in sound than anything I've seen so far...

But bland, boring and unoffensive. Maybe milquetoast is the wrong word. But those other three aren't.
posted by symbioid at 11:07 AM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: Although I don't think there was much symphonic, but that production quality sounds about right....

I'm sorry - maybe this isn't an answerable question it's just too damn vague.
posted by symbioid at 11:10 AM on July 27, 2012

Hmm... male singer, kind of operatic? Last guess, maybe a group like Mr. Big (warning: music video is a bit NSFW)?
posted by losvedir at 11:15 AM on July 27, 2012

Was it maybe pop country? I listen to pop country radio, and a Lot of the stuff I like least fits that bill, and doesn't sound like country music to me. Soaring violins and electric guitar instead of banjo and fiddle. And they love their eagles soaring.
posted by ldthomps at 11:15 AM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: I wouldn't think pop country - as I associate the singing there with more "twang" and less "opera/soaring vocals" (though it did have a lot of the heartfelt emotion in it, which I know some pop country can have). It was more rocking than pop country, more like arena rock, but less distortion. Symphony X vocals also seem kind of close. A lot of the stuff I'm finding via operatic/symphonic still have a more metal sound than what this was. A sort of blend between arena rock and symphonic/operatic metal. Very clean well produced tones with not a lot of distortion.
posted by symbioid at 11:22 AM on July 27, 2012

Maybe Creed?
posted by matcha action at 11:27 AM on July 27, 2012

Was it "Fight for Freedom" by Manowar that you heard? There is much talk of flying eagles in that one.
posted by kitty teeth at 11:30 AM on July 27, 2012

I have had something like this thought ("you're blasting *that*??") when people were blasting music by Wings, or John Lennon's last album, or the Tragically Hip. Not sure how they fall on your other criteria.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:32 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

just from your descriptions i'm totally hearing john tesh or yanni. they both have vaguely polite sounding rock songs, the vocals are as you describe and i've noticed a penchant over the years for people to blast both of them...
posted by chasles at 11:33 AM on July 27, 2012

Meat Loaf? Operatic vocals and popular among hard rock fans for some reason. He's had over a dozen albums since Bat Out of Hell.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:45 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Maybe Josh Groban? Or Michael Buble?
posted by jabes at 11:45 AM on July 27, 2012

I kind of wonder if you were hearing a Glee cover (eg Mellencamp) which generally have smoother (blander) vocals and more commercial (and boring) arrangements, except that I'm not sure that motorbike guys listen to such things!
posted by shelleycat at 12:00 PM on July 27, 2012

The descriptions you have given of the music immediately make me think of Steely Dan. Super-professional and orchestrated and detractors wouldn't be wrong in describing it as the 'elevator muzak of rock.'
posted by iurodivii at 12:01 PM on July 27, 2012

Moody Blues?
posted by sallybrown at 12:22 PM on July 27, 2012

Styx? Journey?
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 12:24 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I came in to suggest Air1 radio. Christian, mostly pretty rock-y but not so hard. Of course they play music in a variety of styles. Could also have been KLove, also Christian but even softer, though they occasionally play a song that's a little more rocking.
In the past couple of weeks I have personally experienced a guy on a motorcycle blasting what I recognized as Air1.
posted by attercoppe at 12:28 PM on July 27, 2012

PS also meant to say there is definitely a reference to soaring and eagles every once in a while on either of those stations. Isaiah 40:31.
posted by attercoppe at 12:31 PM on July 27, 2012

'Yacht Rock' and its British cousin, 'Mondeo Pop', are sometimes used to describe soft, slick, Steely Dan esque music. Guitars, but radio friendly.
posted by mippy at 12:52 PM on July 27, 2012

Christian rock is a great bet.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:52 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Was it Urgent?
Honeymoon Suite?
Michael Breen?
posted by hydrophonic at 1:07 PM on July 27, 2012

Dream Theater, Ours,Muse, Mika.

Also: Queen
posted by KogeLiz at 1:09 PM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: Honestly I don't think it was Christian rock - it's probably more like the proggy kind of stuff like Dream Theater/Queensryche (but not Queen, definitely not Queen, I'd know Freddie's voice anywhere). But not the synths of Dream Theater. I'd say emotional singing like that dude from Queensryche.

It was definitely harder rocking than Steely Dan.

And I don't know if there was a literal reference to an Eagle, actually.

Hmm- that Michael Breen is kind of closer to what I heard. Though I think maybe just a tad more rocking than Breen, but about as bland as that. And as well produced as that. But less synths.

Holy shit this is just insane LOL...
posted by symbioid at 2:03 PM on July 27, 2012

At this point you should take the suggestions you think are closest, make a Pandora station with it and see if it pops up.
posted by iurodivii at 2:15 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm hearing Scorpions' Wind of Change. They're so well-known though, sorry if that's too obvious!
posted by Marit at 2:33 PM on July 27, 2012

Best answer: Stratovarius - Eagleheart
posted by Jawn at 2:36 PM on July 27, 2012

When I think bland, I think Nickleback..
posted by davey_darling at 4:23 PM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I marked Eagleheart as the best answer, because I think at this point that's as close as it's going to get. It's still a bit more rocking than I remember this guy's music, but only by a tad, and the clarity of the music is really close, as well.
posted by symbioid at 4:59 PM on July 27, 2012

Would it be that Fun. song that's almost as overplayed as Gotye?
posted by Fig at 8:39 PM on July 27, 2012

It's nearly 3am and I'm laying in bed going nuts because no one has said that it was Man In Motion, The song from St. Elmo's fire!!!

It's got the arena sound, the eagle reference and the operatic vocals and by golly it rocks but is still utterly milquetoast and unoffensive.
posted by shushufindi at 11:52 PM on July 27, 2012

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