This article is largely philosophical. So don't read if you're looking for an opinion. I have very few. I just have preferences.
About Divergent Tastes
Music. We listen to it for a reason. There is so much of it out there. I use to only like music with which I could connect emotionally. Songs about love, or about loneliness, deception. Nothing groovy, or funky, or plain high on life. But more and more I listen to music for the music, and for the good feeling that most artists (Rock and Roll!) strive on. That's how I came to open up from only a few bands like Third Eye Blind, Our Lady Peace, Dashboard Confessional, Green Day to songs about breaking everything from Sum 41 or P.O.D, Limp Bizkit, Weezer, Oasis, Deftones just to name a few.
Pop music can be good. The main criticism that it gets is that it's dishonest in its delivery. If we just look at American Idol and see how most finalist don't put their souls into it. This is true. But something to be kept in mind is that people can sing a song just for the beauty of the song, not necessarily for the original feeling itself. Pop tunes are often easy going melodies, even when it's supposed to be sad. For example, Evanescence. Very successful new band. Their songs are very structured, very poppy in that sense, but still there is feeling to be taken from all of it. More importantly, there is good musical creation. That's the main point of this pop paragraph. I personnally cannot take most pop. But nevertheless we must admit that pop plays on the radio because it's catchy, in a good way. And sometimes it can be honest. When I sing a pop song I'll always change it big time to suit my style, but nevertheless what is undeniable is that there is some music in all the fakeness.
Punk, Emo, Ska
Punk, emo, ska music: I don't know much, but I think that lately the trend is exagerated. Too many small bands with only a few power chords are coming out, making songs that all sound somewhat alike, 3 note melodies and very basic transitions, ruling the teen world. I have no idea what punk is, but I guess Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, are in there. It's not bad music, it's just not creative enough to be out there as massive as it is. Just like pop, the danger is that it can on the long run be fake and stagnant for our musical and personal evolution.
Rap: is rap considered music? Why not? Why did Eminem become number 1? Because he had melodies in his songs. But again, we just have to keep in mind that people like rap for a reason. For guitarists rap might not be much of an inspiration but have you ever tried playing a tune rap style, make your guitar cuss and scream like your voice would. Try it out with that in mind, results may vary.
All sorts of music can nourish the ear. If we think about it, almost every melody there is, whether it be rock rap funk punk or black metal or jazz or country, can be found in an old classical piece. Hmm, says a lot. Creation is infinite, with that in mind, we can more easily accept differences, and embrace them.
Divergent tastes caused by divergent reasons we listen to music.
People listen to this or that for different reasons. Because they imagine themselves as the lead singer of that band and only listen to the song so that they can sing along after this narrows their minds down. Because out of pure curiosity. Good. Because they like what the band is talking about. Whether is be love, life, anger, depression, injustice. Because they like the general mood of the band's songs. Because they like the band members, and their view on life. The point is that whatever the reason you listen to a song, may it be in total receptiveness, for the guitar solo, for the chorus, for the verses, for the cool intro, for the lyrics, the voice, the drums, because your girlfriend likes it, because your friends like it, because you feel too lazy to try out some new music in fear of wasting your time, just keep in mind that reason, so that you don't end up feeling bad about music in general, and thinking the wrong things.
It is we who choose what we perceive in a band. I personally never listened to Oasis because I heard of many arrogant comments that the lead singer made towards other bands, the Beatles I think (they were compared to them). So that's that. Now that I got over my prejudice, I started to listen to their songs and realized that I like them a lot. The emotion isn?t all that deep, but my overall impression of their music soothes. I just tell myself the singer can sometimes be an arrogant bastard but that deep inside he has some good, some sympathy.
Music can be about just the music. Not the band. Opposite is true. Music can be just about the band. Not the music. Eventually, if the music doesn't grow on you, then the band is out, but if it does good! We all think we have our tastes, but the truth is that tastes can be biased. For a ton of reasons aside from the ones mentioned above. It is true that you must give songs a chance by listening to them once. But is once enough? I mean, some bands are successful because they are an awesome blend of influences and therefore people are predisposed to liking their creation. But other bands strive for a more personal, new sound, and so coming to like those kinds of bands is a learning process, a whole new language to be assimilated.
So what the hell was this article about? It's, frankly, mostly about me. And open-mindedness. Any suggestions? I like emotional music, but hey, once all the emotion is out and you just want to jam with other people, why not ride on a good feeling!
If you've read the article to the end you probably don't dislike all the bulls--t I just talked about, so keep those suggestions coming! I have some mind opening to do too. For example, I never gave Marlyn Manson a chance because his face and body just freaks me out.