Friday, October 16, 2015

Song of the Week: "What you are" - Audioslave

I think, or at least I hope, I'm not a music snob.  There's things I like and things I don't, but I try and avoid feeling like my particular tastes make me more sophisticated or more understanding of how music works.  

There's enough in this world that irritates me without my seeking more.  Were I interested in making myself angry, though, I might go to Pitchfork.com's (notoriously twatty music hipsters) review of Sam Roberts Band's second album, Chemical City, which draws parallels between SRB and Ted Nugent just because SRB's lead guitarist is also named Nugent, which is about the dumbest goddamned thing I've ever heard.

I generally avoid music reviews because I find them supremely irritating.  Art is obviously subjective, but when you force people to review something for a living, they go from indifference to active aggression, savaging something that was never going to appeal to them to begin with. Oh, you didn't like the new Taylor Swift album, 34 year old Brooklynite?  No shit.  It wasn't made for you.  

Yes, we can point to sappy love songs made for teenage girls as not being terribly original, or call the lyrics trite, or what have you, but for the 15 year old girl, the sentiment is very sincere, and you can't take that away.  

Part of my reaction against music criticism comes from remembering how I felt about certain music when I first listened to it.  I loved Audioslave's first album.  Like loved.  From about 17-19, I listened to that album constantly.  

I always felt like Audioslave got undue shit.  Music critics panned them because they weren't as good as either of the groups the musicians came from: Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine.  Well of course they weren't as good, those were two of the most important bands of the past 30 years, for Christ's sake.  

But they were still good, and for 18 year old me, Audioslave was important.  And it's important for me now to remember that.

  

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