Musical tastes…

Mike got me thinking about how wonderful it is to be articulate about music (something I’m not). I just hammer away at something until I eventually spit it out. Luckily Mike is much more eloquent about it.

I don’t know how to describe my musical taste – I sort of have the tastes of a crotchety 62-year-old man, what with all the Daniel Lanois, John Hiatt and Ry Cooder floating around this blog.

Let’s put it this way, but don’t read too much into it:

I like Pink better than Feist.

I like Paul better than John (most days).

I like U2 (from 1981 to 1995) better than Arcade Fire.

I like Bob Dylan in the eighties.

I like all of the artists mentioned above, I just like the ones on the left more. I mean, there’s nothing particularly novel about any of this, obviously. I guess I’m a sucker for a killer chorus. To me, a pop song has a very broad definition: it has to have either a chorus or a bridge that just slays you. A perfect pop song is one that feels both familiar and original at the same time, “Help” by the Beatles being a good example. So for all that pop music can be described by a chord progression or a certain song structure, to me it’s better described by a feeling. I think that feeling can get buried some times: like for example, some people hate U2 now because they’ve been played to death combined with the fact that they’re douchebags. I was driving down the QEW the other day with the windows rolled down and the sunshine in my eyes and “Where the Streets Have No Name” came on the radio. I cranked it way up and just listened to it like I was hearing it for the first time. It was fucking otherworldly.

Maybe I’ve stumbled on a second criteria for pop: it sounds best played loud.

9 thoughts on “Musical tastes…

  1. You articulate quite well, ms. alix.

    You had a much nicer explanation about pop songs. I was trying to break my explanations down matter-of-factly, and it came out mechanic/boring. But I thought it would be more robust than “it’s so summery!”

    And yes, who can argue that pop isn’t about that feeling. But it’s a vast spectrum – GOOD pop songs make that feeling fly and explode, bad pop songs make you feel so disappointed in humanity.

  2. mike, sometimes your descriptions of music are things only co-musicians could appreciate. we laypeople need something more… visual sometimes 🙂

    I like your blog Alix, its renewing my faith in pop music.
    So what do we think about Lady Gaga? Britney or Madonna? haha

  3. I like Britney’s nineties stuff, because I have a huge boner for Max Martin all the way from Ace of Base through Britney and the Backstreet Boys in the late nineties. The man can write a hook.

    Gaga’s alright, a few good tunes, but she rubs me the wrong way. Trying too hard, I guess.

    Madonna’s a legend, but her music hasn’t been very good in the last twenty years… Like a Prayer is one of the best songs of the last two decades – pop or otherwise – again, one of those songs that lost its impact from being played so much. Prince played rhythm guitar on it, it rocks so hard.

    Glad you like my blog, among my friends, I am definitely the biggest champion of pop music. You might like Butch Walker if you dig pop music, he’s a songwriter and producer for Pink who does his own solo stuff, really great pop rock.

  4. I find most of his stuff blaaand. but very LA pop rock so understandable. But he did do Pete Yorn’s musicforthemorningafter, and that album is pop rock platinum.

    Didn’t he do Avril too?

  5. I disagree with all of your statements (except Bob). I like Feist, John and the Arcade Fire more. Just saying.

    I agree: to measure how good a song is, see how loudly you can still rock out. Some songs go to infinity.

  6. Pingback: Trying… | Alix Reads Too Much

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