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  • Don't be a musical genre snob

       March 23, 2011

    I haven't watched much of American Idol this year, but I've kept up with it a bit online. One of the contestants, Scotty McCreery, has a great country voice. I find it both striking and annoying that so much of the praise for Scotty is some variation on "I don't like country, but...". Really? You're willing to dismiss an entire genre of music like that? I think you can say you don't like most country music, but it seems foolish to cut yourself off from the possibility of ever liking anything country. It could happen!

    Personally, I'm not typically a fan of jazz music - it's background music. But, something like this:

    and this:

    are interesting and I think as a human being I'd be missing out on something if I wasn't open to listening to them.

    Likewise, people think opera is just something for rich folks and Bugs Bunny, but again, anyone can appreciate the power in this performance:

    Similarly, if you eschew classical music, you're not listening to this:

    or this:

    To me, it's not about genre as much as it is about emotion. While they sound completely different, someone like Rachmaninoff shares a sense of drama with a band like Kings of Leon. The power of Pavarotti is reflected in another genre that too many people immediately ignore, hip hop. At the end of Nessun Dorma, the hero sings, "I shall win!" in defiance of the cold, bitchy princess. He's fighting the power just like Public Enemy, right?

    I guess what I'm saying in a roundabout way is that in an age when we're able to put thousands of songs on our iPods, there's gotta be some room for a little bit of everything. Even the blues.

    Posted by kris at March 23, 2011 12:34 PM

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