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  • Drew Conrad

Good Vibrations

Good music is good music. Who wrote it? What do they look like? How old are they? Eh, who cares! Not that we don’t want to praise a job well done and get to know more about the artist. That’s not what I mean. We should applaud and recognize great efforts and great accomplishments. What I mean is – we are so trained to judge musical works of art based upon so many things other than the music. Did the single or album get reviewed well? Is it safe to like it? How about this: Do you like it? No outside opinions, no intellectualizing, no flashy PR campaigns whispering in your ear that this is gold, no sexy music videos. Just…do you like it? That should be enough.

My musical interests vary greatly – from the 12th century sacred monophony of Hildegard von Bingen to Ghanaian highlife music of the 1970s, traditional Indian music to British 1980s alternative pop…and it goes on and on. What I listen to most, though, is classical music. I adore it. And yet, there are a handful of composers – absolutely and utterly beloved by millions – that I simply cannot tolerate. Are they extraordinarily talented? Yes, of course. Do I like it? No. And that is ok. I tried to convince myself for years that I must learn to like it. They have been cherished for centuries! Who am I to not like their compositions? Well, I am one human being with my own tastes. They are my tastes. I do not need to apologize for what I like, nor for what I don’t like. That would be like someone telling me that my favorite color is actually not the best color. It’s all a matter of opinion.

We should never feel obligated to like or dislike a song, an artist, a genre. Love what you love. Feel it. If it feels like - sounds like - good art to you, then it is good art. End of story. Music should never, ever be in or out of fashion. That is a disgraceful concept! Transcend the flavor-of-the-month mentality and just listen to what speaks to your soul. Even if you found it in the discount pile.


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