Saturday, March 24, 2012

Is it Wrong that I Only Want to Listen to Cheesy Love Songs?

I think this has to be the last post I make for a week because I am procrastinating on doing something for school. But who am I kidding, in between studying I know I'll have ideas I'll want to blog! Blogging can be so obsessive!

When I was growing up I listened to the same pop music radio station that most of my friends did. It played 90s and some 70s and 80s rock (including soft rock and classic rock), pop, R&B (including Mowtown oldies), and a little bit of rap. The artists played included Madonna, Janet Jackson, Glass Tiger, The Beatles, MC Hammer, Prince, George Michael, Eurasure, U2, En Vogue etc. Everyone knew these songs and the music was not offensive compared to pop music today. At the time it seemed like there were fewer types of music and it was easier to distinguish between rock, heavy metal, rap, pop, country, classical, R&B, jazz, and blues and of course international styles like calypso and reggae.

The type of music that moved me the most was the pop ballad and that is my favorite type of music today! I am "coming out" and admitting that my favorite type of music is any cheesy song where a guy sings about love in a very high voice! I love ballads from the Bee Gees, Maroon 5, REO Speedwagon, U2, Stevie Wonder and MANY one-hit-wonders. I also listened to my father's Love Collection records (yes the one's sold in infomercials) and I loved them! When I hear these songs I get an instant physical feeling of love for the singers (the same way I feel when I see and hear cats lol)! It's an 'I want to scream' and 'I love this/you so much I want to die' feeling that you can see in footage of Beatles or Justin Bieber fans. My theory is that the high pitched voices of male pop singers and cats activate the pleasure centres of my brain lol!!! Hmmm, maybe that's why I prefer guys with younger, higher sounding voices? Yes, it's very quirky and I do love to sing along while making typical performance hand gestures! I readily admitted this as a high school student and undergrad but since then I have felt uncomfortable doing so.

I went to graduate school in a small city and I did not like any of the radio stations (they played too much country that I absolutely can not tolerate and constant Nickleback!). I also did not like many of the songs played on Much Music because they were getting too "screamy" and sounded computer generated (Autotune is horrible). So for the next several years I was not paying attention to new music at all and I mostly heard new music through movies, television, or by chance. Now I feel some imaginary pressure to listen to new music so that I can actually state what type of music I like and open my mind to new things or something. I  keep reading dating profiles where men state "I like many types of music" and it makes me feel like I'm closed off or immature because I rarely like new music and there are many types I don't like. I feel (and have been made to feel) guilty for not liking country music, most things with fiddles (e.g., Celtic music), some alternative (ewww grunge music), jazz, reggae, and calypso. There are many types of music that are great in television and movies for setting the mood (e.g., heavy metal in horror films, classical, jazz etc.) but I don't find pleasure listening to them outside of these mediums. It's like I worry something is wrong with me because I am not moved by more types of music.

When I started looking into new styles of music I tried some so-called "conscious hip hop" (that was actually full of curse words and the n-word), R&B, and neo-soul. I felt so much pressure to choose my favorite music based on race instead of what I found pleasurable!  I felt as though I would be a "sell-out" if I ignored these forms of music and limited myself to genres predominated by White people! There may be some other racial minorities who feel pressure to like their cultural music too but others will just like what they like and never feel guilty. I think that unlike other groups, there is a lot of pressure for Black people to listen to and support rap/hip hop despite it's rampant degradation of women, degradation of Black people (by using the n-word) and making Black men look like materialistic thugs, morally bankrupt artists, and it's references to lifestyles that are foreign to many middle class people (e.g., living in the hood, shootings, drugs, and gangs). But I think that now I am finally secure about my rejection of rap/hip hop music! I think it's safer to avoid the genre and negative messages instead of "giving it a chance" just because a few songs may be innocuous.

I am going to listen to internet radio more often so that I can hear my old favorites and new pop music. I tried listening to some emo, indie rock, soul, and R&B but they did not move me emotionally. I will try them again but probably if they are not played on pop stations I won't seek them out. I feel as though I am not supposed to like the same music I did when I was younger and I'm supposed to like more "adult" types of music that is serious and edgy instead of love songs sung by cute guys. This reminds me of the pressure women feel to abandon pleasurable things, being playful, and acting girly after a certain age (as I wrote about in my post I'd Love to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl). People feel pressure to trade in everything from childhood for things that are serious and mature (maybe because of that Bible verse about putting away childish things but I'm not even religious). How necessary is it for adults to become aware of depressing/controversial things for the sake of education even though they are powerless to change anything? I think there has to be a balance between entertainment being purely for pleasure and entertainment that is also educational and thought provoking. There seems to be a lot of pressure focus on the latter. I prefer songs that are about love (being in, finding, or losing it) mostly sung by men with high voices. It doesn't teach me about other cultures or the plight of oppressed people. I like 80s and 90s pop and any modern music that sounds similar. The last two CDs I bought were James Blunt and Gavin DeGraw. It just makes me happy. Isn't that enough?

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with wat u said!!! (I was looking at aerosmith pics and thats how I found ur blog.)
    Black women unite!!! im black and live in alaska, a white sea...