You didn’t do your homework: On Music

b5935b417cc9b46cd514dd1cfafffc8b.jpgI told you yesterday to listen to a song.  Scroll down and do that right now.  Or just click; that gets me more hits.

Kurt would have turned 50 this week, by the way.  This post isn’t about Nirvana’s music but it’s not unrelated, as you’ll soon figure out.

Anyway: a few months ago I wrote a post about Rae Sremmurd where I talked about my utter inability to actually pay attention (or, honestly, understand) any of the lyrics to their songs.  I continue to listen to Sremmlife 2 more or less weekly and other than Black Beatles I can’t actually name any of the songs or quote any of the lyrics.  This is in stark opposition to the way I used to enjoy music, which was to memorize every syllable of entire albums.  I don’t know what the hell Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi are talking about in the majority of the thing, and I had to look up their names just now.

But I love the hell out of Sremmlife 2 anyway.

The other day I downloaded Future’s self-titled new release on the strength of the cover art.  I do that sometimes; I like discovering new music and occasionally I just buy something for the sheer hell of it.

(Sidenote: upon finding that link, I discover that dude has second new album, meaning he  has two new releases within two weeks.  I buy it instantly.)

(Are we still calling these “albums”?  I can’t use CD anymore, but “album” still seems to work.  Anyway.)

So here’s the thing: I was listening to Future on the way home from work last night, and if anything to my old-ass ears the lyrics are even harder to decipher than Sremmurd.  This seems to be a Southern hiphop thing; Sremmurd is from Tupelo and Future is from Atlanta.  I put the YouTube “video” of POA on the post yesterday because that’s the song that was playing when I realized I wasn’t really in the car anymore, and upon checking the track realized I had not the slightest idea what POA might stand for.  (“Power of Attorney,” according to the Google.)  And this leads me to my question, and the reason I’m writing this post in the first place:

How important are lyrics to you to be able to enjoy a piece of music?  Do you ever listen to music in a foreign language where there’s literally no chance of you understanding the words?  Is it possible for a “good song” to be about a subject or topic you hate?   I once tossed a brand-new CD out the window of my car on the first listen because it turned out to be laced with homophobia, but it was also clear and understandable.  And I can’t stand a couple of very popular songs because of what they’re about.

These last couple of albums could be about goddamn anything and I don’t care at the moment because I can’t stop zoning out when I’m listening to them.  Which isn’t a bad thing; I can’t complain.  I’m just wondering how weird it is.

PS:  I got home last night and went to check the mail, and stopped dead in my driveway because I could hear Rae Sremmurd playing and thought my phone had unpaused itself or something.  It took a moment to realize that one of the two teenagers next door had their bedroom window open and was listening to Sremmlife 2 at perhaps an unhealthy volume level.  So there’s that.

5 thoughts on “You didn’t do your homework: On Music

  1. I have several cds with people singing in other languages because the voices sound nice. A couple of them, I didn’t know there would be singing and a couple of others I knew they were in another language but I like the sound of the music. Gypsy Kings are fun.

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  2. I definitely enjoy music in other languages. Hearing the emotion in the voice or even in the music itself can carry the meaning. That’s what I tend to look for in music.

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  3. Having grown up with a hearing loss, I rarely understand what anyone is singing in a song, no matter the language. However, the song does come more to life if I get my hands on the lyrics (easier now than in the 70s and 80s).

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