Music Part 3: Modern

Believe it or not, there is a lot of modern music that I do like.  By modern, I mean anything produced in the past decade.

If you are familiar at all with my music tastes, you will know that I generally do not listen to pop music.  That is true.  I have no idea why pop music is popular, but I suppose it must be by definition.  Let me go over a few reasons why I don’t like pop music:

Vocals

I’ve discovered an interesting phenomenon.  I seem to enjoy music with male vocals much more than I do music with female vocals.  I’m not trying to be sexist, and I’m not saying that I don’t like girls (because I do like girls), that’s just what my general impression is.  From the few girls and other boys I’ve talked to about this idea, and from what I know of others’ music tastes, the same seems to be true with others, where they prefer songs sung by their own gender.  I think this is because they can relate to it better.  Even if boys sing songs addressed to girls, the songs may be more popular with boys because boys are more familiar with the perspective that the song was written and sung by and therefore have greater appreciation for it.

The reason I’m making a big point of this is because quite a lot of pop music is sung by girls.  This is not true in all cases, but in general I believe it is correct.  I think men tend to gravitate towards rap as well, taking away from them making pop music.  As for Justin Bieber, he sounds like a girl (or at least used to), so I’m going to use the same justification for him.

Lyrics

A lot of pop lyrics are really dumb.  There are a lot of words in songs that just don’t say anything worth listening to.  Justin Bieber is a pretty good example of this, but it’s not limited just to him.  If I’m going to listen to music I’m already unsure about because I don’t like the instrumentals, the lyrics really need to make up for it.  Usually they don’t.

There are also some lyrics that I disagree with on a moral standpoint.  Some people would say I would be “offended” by these lyrics, but there’s no way that’s possible; I’m way to proud to be offended by anything.  A couple examples include “Born this way” by Lady Gaga and “Your love is my drug” by Kesha.  No, I’m not putting a dollar sign in her name.  “Born this way” ticks me off because it basically says we have no freedom.  We can’t, or rather shouldn’t, change.  We just are who we are, meaning that we are and will remain imperfect people with no reason to fix our imperfections.  I have a strong belief that while I am imperfect, I can learn and act better.  Every single day I can do something to make myself a better person.  Who is some pop artist to tell the world that they should just wallow in their flaws?  Kesha does no better with her song.  How could anyone compare something so pure, inspiring, everlasting, uplifting, and mutual as love to something so tarnishing, restrictive, short-lived, withholding, and one-sided?  Yes, I’m a guy, but I have a deep respect for love.  Some people may think it’s fine to belittle the beauty of love in jest, but I think it deserves more respect than that, and certainly more respect than it is given in that song.

The best part about these songs (as well as Justin Bieber) is that they are frequently played at our Church dances.  You know, the Church that supports Prop 8 and has uber high standards?  Not that I’m trying to knock the Church or anything (the Church is true!), but I do find it ironic.

Repetition

Is it just me, or do all pop songs sound the same?  I think that just happens when you don’t like the music in general.  I can say the same for basically all country and rap, which are my two least favorite genres, so it makes sense to me.

Play Count

The more songs are played, usually the less I like them.  Especially if it’s someone else playing the song.  There are some songs which I can and will listen to several times in a row, and I don’t mind because I am making the choice and I really do like the song.  If someone else plays a song, for example, at every Church dance I go to, then because it probably isn’t one of the 10 or so songs that I can play over and over, I will end up hating it.

Back to music that I do like.

I don’t have a set of standards that define good music I like.  Even what I dislike about pop music is only a list of general trends.  So instead of making another list of what I do like (it is much harder for me to find I enjoy then what I hate for some reason) I’m just going to list a few recent music artists and their best songs/albums like last post.

MUTEMATH – MUTEMATH (self-titled album, my favorite album of all time)
Angels and Airwaves – “Secret Crowds”
Hoobastank – The Reason (listen to the whole album, there are better songs than “The Reason” on it)
Mat Kearney – Young Love
Linkin Park – “Points of Authority,” “Robot Boy”
Fictionist – “Great Escape”
30 Seconds to Mars – “Edge of the Earth” (if I could pick one word to describe this band that word would be “epic”)
Coldplay – “Paradise”
Boys Like Girls – “Heart Heart Heartbreak”
Muse – “Map of the Problematique” (Black Holes & Revelations is a pretty good album though)
Anberlin – “Miserabile Visu (Ex Malo Bonum)” (this song is pretty epic too)
Jimmy Eat World – “Bleed American”
Pheonix – “1901”
Dido – “See The Sun” (one of the very few female artists I like, so I’d recommend checking it out)

I would put U2 in this list but I’m going to save them for my classic rock post.

So there you have it.  I do like contemporary music, just contemporary music no one cares about.

–Brandon

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