All my life—or at least since I was a teen—my mom has oft repeated, “Music these days has no tune.” I agreed with her up until recently, when I had to change my views on music, or toss out most of my music collection!
My mom grew up during the 60s and 70s, seemingly the golden age of musical creativity. Motown, The Beatles, you name it, practically every musical act was or had a hit. I don’t remember who were her favorites as a kid, but now she’s a fan of Janis Ian (first and foremost!) and other female folk artists. She also enjoys doo-wop and jazz, and my brother has turned her on to Celtic Woman.
My journey through music is chronicled on my personal site, and although it hasn’t been updated for over a year, and I’ll likely add to it after this entry is done, there isn’t much that’s new. Right now the top five musical artists on my Last.fm profile are The Cardigans, Maria Mena, The Divine Comedy, Lisa Loeb, and the Submarines. Lately I’ve also been listening to Muse (thanks to a certain artist) and to movie soundtracks (yay, Neil Gaiman!).
Mum once told me that she rarely ever likes every single song on an album. No matter how much she likes the artist, there is always at least one song that she won’t listen to. (So when she says that she thinks Vanessa Carlton’s Be Not Nobody album is the best she’s ever heard, and there is not one bad song on it, this is very high praise, coming from her.) Basically, she is picky with her music.
When I told her that I usually like all the music I buy, she thought I was lucky. I thought, although I didn’t tell her, that maybe it just meant my standards weren’t as high. Normally it takes me a couple listens to actually hear the music, and not just a wall of mindless sound. I didn’t know whether I was readjusting my brain to accept the music, lowering my standards, or what. (When I hear a tune I like, I immediately know I like it, no adjustment period or subsequent listens required.)
By this point I began to think that either my taste in music really sucked compared to my mom’s and that I had a tin ear, or that my tastes differed from hers.