Something I don’t bring up much here is music. Partly that is due to my arbitrary scope of this blog. Mostly it is because I’ve found musical taste to be one of those intensely embarrassing subjects.
Music is polarizing. Typically you either like it or you don’t. There are intensities of like or dislike but they waver with your mood and shift over time. Talking to others about music is often a huge waste of time as it devolves quickly into each person talking at the other about what they like or don’t like. Since those so rarely overlap nicely the other person typically will be uninterested.
Sure, people think you can have “intelligent” conversations about the musical craft and bands and what not. I believe it’s possible, I do. But how many times have you heard the “they sold out” rant? The concrete facts quickly get lost in the opinion.
I think my general approach to music can be summed up in this tweet of mine from last year:
Why do they have to be guilty pleasures, though?
I became acutely aware of these thoughts tonight as I found myself watching Lights perform acoustic renditions of her songs on YouTube.
Now, see, right there I’ve said too much. It’s no surprise to me that her first album* is getting a lot of play time on my iPod lately, given my history of being all-too-partial to the syrupy pop of most anime’s JPOP opening theme songs, to similar artists in my collection long since past like Sarina Paris (which got a lot of play time in my GTA: San Andreas custom radio station; nothin’ like blazing down San Fierro in a Bullet pounding the pop). But you all don’t know that because I rarely bring this stuff up.
Perhaps I’m aware of the stigma. On the surface, Lights fits too many of the easily ridiculed tropes: she’s young, Canadian, impossibly cute, her music leans heavily to dance pop (“sweet and shimmering” as the iTunes review of her first album eloquently puts it), but worst of all she’s been fairly successful. Success, as we all know, is immediate grounds for dismissal to most music snobs (except when it’s “the classics” of course).
I can try a defensive stance. I can point out that her original songs translate surprisingly well to low-fi acoustic guitar, that she can play and sing solo with no electronics and still make it sound great, all hallmarks of actual talent not deriving from the excessive auto-tuning treatment her album receives.
But, really, in the end we like what we like. I don’t see much point in talking about it, as your condemnation will only prove the wisdom of my silence but will not change my collection.
Of course, I’m not saying we can’t get together and gush like fangirls. Boys. Fanboys. Yes.
* I’m so far not digging her latest album. Ehh…