Lana and I had an interesting discussion yesterday about our musical tastes. Hers are much more eclectic than mine. She likes Metallica and Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow and Motley Crue. I hesitate to say it, but she also likes some….disco. Me? I like hard rock and heavy metal. And that’s pretty much it.
In our discussion yesterday, I had a bit of an epiphany about my own musical tastes. That is, I like music that is heavy on the music, and I don’t care about the singing. Lana appreciates both aspects of music, but—for me—the singing is simply…meh. I won’t listen to music just for the sound of the singer’s voice. The music itself has to be catchy and, generally, full of energy and intensity.
I’m going to link to some examples to illustrate my points. First up is “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. I’ve listened to this song several times with Lana and apparently I always say I like it. However, I never seem to remember it next time Lana mentions it, as she did yesterday. So I went and listened to it with my new thoughts on the subject. It’s a good illustration of my point. First let me say, I really like the singer’s voice modulation in this song. However, “Rolling in the Deep” is about the singing, not the music. In fact, to me, the music is virtually non-existent, and is not really important to the effect of the song. It’s all about the voice.
In contrast, after watching the Adele video, I felt a need for some heavier stuff. I called up “Albatross” by Corrosion of Conformity. Instantly, a surge of energy swept through me. I became aware of my heartbeat, of the taste in my mouth, of the way my eyes moved in their sockets. My fingers started to drum. Other than the word “albatross,” I scarcely know what the singer is saying in this song. Nor do I care. This song is about the music. The voice is a compliment at best.
I decided to give another work a listen, and chose “Angel” by Sepultura, which is a remake of a Massive Attack song. The music here starts out very slow. It’s almost non-existent, much like in the Adele song. First there are just the words of the singer. But then the music starts to build, it starts to hammer, it starts to scream. My scalp tingles. My body flushes hot and cold. I didn’t see them but I know my pupils dilated. The voice of the singer is mostly just a shriek now. There’s no Adele level modulation of the voice. In fact, half the time he isn’t singing real words. I don’t care. This is what I listen to music for—the power and the glory.