I put into words today something I've always known about my music listening habits but had never been able fully explain before (I think).
I enjoy music that showcases either
the passion of the singer for the song (not his or her own voice), the
work/art of the songwriter, the natural ability of the musician, and any
combination thereof. What I don't (or perhaps can't) enjoy is music
that showcases the vocal gymnastics of the vocalist or the hipness of the producer.
Now, I understand that those can cross sometimes. Hip producers can
work with a fantastic and artistic band, and vocally gymnastic divas (of
either gender) can fully deliver the breadth of a powerful song.
I also understand that sometimes a bad singer can deliver a powerful
song (as my wife would say about Bob Dylan), or a woefully hip producer
can ignore the intent of the songwriter and ruin what was an impactful
I also know that my tastes have little to do with genre
or style, but more with the passion intrinsic to the song or the
performance (as long as said performance is about the song, not to show
off the singer or band).
Listening to music has always been
for me one of two things: (1) listening technically as a musician to
better myself and "learn" the magic behind the song and (2) listening as
a spiritual exercise as the song changes me somehow and says something
to me. Very rarely do I "use" music as mere background noise, except at
work, because that's expected in a retail environment. For me, listening
to music is an active endearvor, not a passive one.
guess this is all to say that when Lisa, the kids, and I argue about
what station to listen to on the radio, I know know why I prefer to find
a classic rock or "mixed-up" station rather than a top-40 one.