I’m looking forward to some great new music this year. Music I can lose myself in, music I can sing along with. Music I can play while I do what I’ve managed to convince myself is dancing.
I have very eclectic tastes. Rare indeed is the genre that doesn’t have at least one song on my playlist. There are hymns that stir my soul, country songs that get my feet tapping, rap music that makes my head snap around, and rock that boils my blood and causes other pressing health emergencies. But explaining my specific preferences is a difficult matter, so instead I’ll list what I don’t like.
I don’t like songs with bass beats that sound like my head’s in a piledriver. If I hear a song in another car that can get through two closed windows and across a lane of traffic and still make my fillings ache in 4/4 time, that song is right out.
I don’t like songs that advocate killing police officers, dealing drugs, hitting women, or any sort of smack down activity whatsoever. Call me old-fashioned, but isn’t encouraging illegal acts a felony? Even if it’s catchy?
Speaking of which, I really, really hate songs that annoy me but stick in my head nonetheless. Such as the song “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker, wherein the singer openly pleads with a married woman to come fool around a bit. I’d prefer to just ignore it, but the beginning of the song is so incredibly addictive, I find myself singing along for half a verse before I even remember I hate it. Then I get mad at myself and change the channel to something less offensive, like the Emergency Broadcast Signal for my area.
I don’t like covers of old songs that didn’t need remaking. Any group that decides to record their own interpretation of a classic must be forced to watch the 2002 version of “I Spy” with Owen Wilson and Eddie Murphy over and over until they’ve learned better.
I don’t like songs with stupid videos. I kinda liked Shania Twain’s song about ostentatious boyfriends, “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” until she made the video dressed in a floor-length leopard skin coat and stark Kabuki makeup that was way more pretentious than anything she complained about. On the other hand, watching Jennifer Garner do backflips made Evanescent’s “Bring Me to Life” a permanent favorite, and I had zero interest in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” until I saw Christopher Walken flying around a hotel lobby. It works both ways.
I don’t like songs by underage girls singing about sex. I’m all in favor of sex and underage girls as separate concepts but the combination makes me decidedly queasy, like eating a pound of butter or seeing Michael Jackson’s mug shot again.
I don’t like songs that depict the world as a bleak, soulless machine existence from which there is no escape but the waiting grave. Teenagers have enough problems with suicidal tendencies, they don’t need a soundtrack.
I don’t like songs that get overplayed, which is why I haven’t listened to the radio more than once or twice a month since 1983. The appeal of a new song just isn’t enough to overcome my loathing of car sales and appliance ads. No, I prefer to hear my new music as God intended; in movie trailers and in the background of “Smallville.”
What turns music off for you? Let me know! Maybe we can get a consensus, or at least a really good mix CD.