Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Slipknot and the Perception of Taste

On the recommendation of a chum, I am going to attempt a post about something other than games, as apparently such things exist (who knew?). Here, I shall examine the social consequences of listening to a particular type of music.

Habitually, I am at best a sometime music listener. As far as I am concerned, this operates in my favour, as I only listen to music I actually want to listen to, rather than music everyone else does. I have a particular taste for rock, but I will happily lend an ear to any artist that I take a liking to. Most recently, this has been the oft-maligned metal band, Slipknot. Having heard and enjoyed a couple of tracks from their third album, The Subliminal Verses, I elected to make a purchase. I should perhaps explain that I only ever purchase full albums, as I feel this helps to broaden my taste- I regard downloading single tracks as a mite on the philistine side.

Having now listened to the album in its entirety, I quite like the intensity of the songs and the grim nihilism of the lyrics (a stark contrast with most chart toppers), but I am aware that I, overweight nerdy teen, am not the standard listener profile. Indeed, I realise that my newly acquired penchant for this band may alter people's perceptions of myself. The question I now ask is why?

Why should a person's musical taste affect other people's thoughts about them? I am all too aware that many people regard bands such as Slipknot and the like as "just noise". I do not think this is because of the actual music- I think many of Slipknot's nine members are rather talented musicians, except perhaps the chap who is commissioned to hit beer drums with a baseball bat- but a collective perception of such music as being for big hairy blokes wearing hoodies and swearing. In my experience, people rarely listen to such bands, loitering on the edge of the mainstream, before passing judgement upon them. Although there is a particular liking for heavy riffs and half-screamed vocals, there is, contrary to popular belief, a tune, and the sound is (to me at least) rather pleasing, but I only know this because I was willing to give them a chance. Most people would not, as they percieve music as not a matter of personal taste, but too often as an indicator of the social circles within which one moves, an accessory rather than an interest. I feel that this should not be the case. In fact, I fear that people are missing out, not just on Slipknot, but on a whole world of music, that they percieve not to be for them. So, to both my readers- I urge you, broaden your horizons, give bands you've never heard a chance! And listen to Duality, it's quite good.

1 comment:

  1. Bravo!
    I applaude your openmindedness and the fact that you dont share the closed off opinions concerning this music that a mutual friend of ours has. the subliminal verses is a great album but theyre self titled debut takes the biscuit in my opinion.