We have long said on this site that aesthetics and composition, while they can aid each other (particularly aesthetics enhancing presentation of composition), are not the same and aesthetics — on the whole — is disposable. A great symphony played by a metal band would still be good music, and a great metal song played on kazoo would still be a great song.
Exhibit 1: Angel of Death (Soft Rock Version)
Although this is sacrilege and the person who committed it should be raped to death by pigs, it’s not only hilarious but, in comparison to all other soft rock ever created, total genius.
Exhibit 2: Hipster music
Note how brilliantly contrived the aesthetic is — and how empty, pointless, binary and unexceptional the underlying composition is. If you played this on an acoustic guitar, it would put you to sleep.
Like all hipster music, it’s a surface treatment. Death to all hipsters — well, that’s true, but the bigger point is: the song is not the production, the imagery, the performance or the weird little artists statements these grebo queerballs make in their album liners. It’s the composition.