Music The Music Sounds Better

Strong music opinions conflict with purpose

By Michael Mandeville ’11
THE ROUNDUP

My music taste is better than yours, deal with it.

Here is the thing fellow Broncos, I like a very particular kind of music, and I will always be certain that it is better than whatever it is you are listening to.

I can’t help it, but that’s the nature of the situation.

Any pop “alternative” rock, new-reggae, dub-step, hard-step, whatever-step is just noise to me.

There is no ambition and creativity in recycled power-chord progressions an eight year-old could write, sappy lyrics about your pseudo-non-conformist ‘painfully’ tragic life that, yes, no one actually cares about except your MySpace ‘street team’ or the endless “wub-wub” that tortures every last neuron in my cerebral cortex.

Frankly, I’m offended by it.

Music is and should be art. I’m talking about music that digs beneath the comfort of accessibility, and is created to promote self-expression and genuine intellectual direction.

It’s this intelligence that moves me. It’s the artist’s emotions that provokes my own. It’s this uncertainty and creative skepticism that I find so comforting and revitalizing.

And you probably know what I’m generally talking about, so I can’t help but wonder, does my music taste matter at all?

Amidst all my passionate and exclusive opinions, I realize something I urge everyone to understand. Your preference in music is not superior to anyone’s, and as much you’d like to think your knowledge surpasses everyone else’s, there will always be someone that knows more than you.

Learn from them and learn from those you disagree with.

There is absolutely no need to be pretentious about music. While you come off as overly conceited (trust me, I know), you aren’t actually changing anyone’s opinions; you are more likely to repulse them from your point.

Just considering art is one of the most abstract and subjective forces in nature, there is no point challenging someone’s passionate connection to music—it’s art to them.

Recently, a friend of mine was pushing some screamo and power-violence bands on me.

It was always music that felt so dissonant and disturbing, so out of complete curiosity, I asked what exactly he connected with.

The response was simple. There was inexplicable raw energy and selflessness in the music and lyrics that had such a profound impact on him, providing the comfort that no other means could satisfy.

And as I examined him throughout his explanation, I couldn’t help but notice passion in his words and expressions fueling this admiration; it’s beautiful to him and I can’t imagine challenging that.

So this led me to ask myself: Did I actually despise this music, or was it just difficult, more demanding and forcefully discomforting? Maybe this was the case for a variety of the music I has previously pushed away.

After considering this, I realized that isn’t always the case, but definitely valid to others.

Now I understand there is some stuff out there that is flat out obnoxious, there always will be, but I am certain there is other music you’ve previously dismissed that probably qualifies a bit more than you think.

You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to listen to it, but respect it.

Music is art and that art belongs to someone. You can’t argue that.