I never thought I would find myself in a place complaining about the “music these kids listen to,” but it seems the older I get, the worse music becomes. I do my best to stay on top of current releases and emerging artists but, call me a curmudgeon, I just think music was better back before the crippling weight of existential dread smothered any flame of passion within me.
Sure, I can blame the overuse of autotune or the inaccurate assumption that no musician actually plays instruments anymore, but in reality, the reason that current music doesn’t resonate with me is that the youthful joy reflected by artists half my age reminds me of the person I wanted to become but never achieved.
I wish that I could blame overt sexuality and the glamorization of violence for the pitfalls of Top 40 music but the stark reality of it is that current music holds no nostalgia for me. It doesn’t take me back to long nights, great parties, first kisses, and road trips. New music doesn’t remind me of a time of life before I needed medication just to get out of bed in the morning and before the looming shadow of impending death crawled ever closer.
David Bowie! Pink Floyd! Led Zeppelin! The Rolling Stones! Now that is real music. It is only a coincidence that their music was released before my frontal lobe fully developed and the world still promised joy and wonderment. Long before the repetition of fear and rejection carved their neutral pathways within my brain.
I don’t know who this Doja Cat is, but Kiss Me More doesn’t hold a candle to the way Stevie Nicks singing Landslide makes me forget about mortgages, student loan debt, couples counseling, performance reviews, COVID, and politics. Find me a rapper capable of putting hair back on my head and then we’ll talk.
Bad Bunny does nothing for me when I am having a panic attack in the bathroom at work but if I pump out some Santata through my earbuds, I am transported to a time when I had a fast metabolism and even faster car.
That is what real music does!