This song just hit me — prior to this moment, I thought it was too similar to other songs and too repetitive. When I was listening closer, I heard this really intense self-harmonizing in the chorus I hadn’t noticed before. It’s so obvious, but I think I was too cynical to hear it.
It’s another instance of a negative opinion (of a song — this song) having nothing to do with the actual quality of the song. I’m not saying this happens all the time, but the fact that it CAN happen (music growing on you) has driven me to a place where I feel weird hating/being negative towards music. I might really dig this in five years, or this might’ve been important to me ten years ago — how can I disrespect that very real experience? What if others haven’t heard it yet and I’m already dismissing it?
Our opinions may seem irrelevant, but collectively they influence what actually gets heard. Everything’s a wave and you can choose which waves you’d like to embrace. Which ones are you going to ride on, and are you going to acknowledge the fact that you’re in this bizarre world of waves and it’s easy enough to see how much fun other people are having on other waves?
Is their fun not genuine? Does this not imply that, if given the chance, the wave they are riding has merit?
If one can overlook music, then does that mean some music resonates ‘deeper’ than others? If so, does that mean some music requires ‘more attention’? I put that in quotes because I think whatever it is that prevents people from enjoying something, embracing something, and then enjoying something else — it’s a very conscious thing. You really can choose what you’d like to embrace. The complicated part is that you also seem to have phases where a particular style or sound is PRIME. It’s like, SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO THIS, NOW, AT THIS MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE, you will find that it’s easier to ‘understand’ / ‘pay attention to’.
I’m just trying to verbalize the weird process which is desire, specifically musical desire — its three-part formula of what is natural to you, what is immediately desired and the quality of what’s presented. All three of these aspects can exist in different degrees. For instance, if the quality is so overwhelmingly, universally-amazing(/’potent’), it may not matter that you’re cynical, or that you don’t like the lyrics.
Just as such, if you desire to get into First-Wave Punk Rock, you’re going to likely find yourself listening to that very music. You WANT to listen to X, and when X actually happens, it’s a reminder: You’re in control. Not only that, if X is good, then you know you’re in control AND you’re doing a pretty good job picking the soundtrack.
You can force yourself to like something, and after awhile, you’ll forget your initial intentions. It’s not so much deceiving yourself as it is trying to keep an open-mind, letting all that’s good stick and ignoring all that does not.
The fact that one could ‘increase’ the quality aspect of this formula by simply being a good musician, and that one could ‘increase’ (or decrease) how much ‘attention’ they pay to something, suggests that the third aspect of this formula may also be modified.
How would you increase the likelihood of something being natural? It seems to be largely out-of-control — dependent on your personal background and lifestyle, up to that point. You can change your life, and perhaps, this will change what is natural in your new life — but it’s a gradual process. If this value of non-naturalness is so high, it will not matter if you’re listening to the Magical Mystery Tour LP — even if you’re listening to every detail — it’s too far-removed from your natural environment. The “value of what’s natural” supersedes the fact that it’s “good music” or that you’re paying really close attention.
My theory is that “what’s natural” follows a cyclical path of genres and styles, which elevates in perspective after each cycle. Each path is individualized to every person, but I believe that after enough cycles, you are able to perceive the highest wave of music: which, coincidentally, is what the zeitgeist is jamming to. I theorize that while all the cycles start out from different places, the end-result is the same; if you follow it long enough, you’re able to appreciate just about anything (especially that which is most universally appreciated).
This makes sense, because not only are you naturally-inclined, thanks to your crazy-ass cyclical path of multicultural music, but the music itself is at least average quality. If certain aspects of the formula overwhelm others, then so long as the music is passable, GENUINE inspiration should be possible – one should be able to desire ANY kind of music.
I theorize that if you knew the context of sub-par bedroom music, you might be able to enjoy it, but such a universal knowledge of context is unrealistic, and thus, there’s going to be music impossible to empathize with. Other people DO empathize with this music, even if those “other people” are just the band themselves.
Music only appreciated by one person still conveys a valid, specific perspective. This perspective fits snugly into the cyclical path of taste and desire. The experience of desire-fulfilled is a tangible experience, possible for anyone to undergo – music itself can be the trigger. You cannot invalidate this perspective: to say something is horrible can ultimately diminish the punch of that trigger. Self-aware or not, negativity in matters of subjectivity can only reduce the chances of someone having their own subjective desire, fulfilled.
This can be used as a weapon, but I’d like to think, outside the context of itself, most music sounds amazing. I think that positivity is more potent than negativity. Negativity’s advantage is its immediacy; positivity’s advantage is its longevity/substance. In matters of experience, negativity is about the same as being too busy to really look at something. It’s not WRONG, it’s just irrelevant to those who really looked at the same thing you simply ran past.