I think about the comments on this website and others – and it seems that the majority people are not what I call “cross-over” listeners. That is, listeners tend to really like one genre of music and not much else. Sure, there are exceptions. I listen to quite a bit of different styles of music and I know that’s the case for many of you that read this site. Still, there are people that are “Metal or die!” or even “Opera or nothing.”
Sometimes critics – especially the famous ones that get paid a lot of write for Rolling Stone – help fuel that music divide. Sure, we all have our preferences and favorites, but sometimes I’m even turned off by a band or genre because of what a critic wrote. If a band is immediately compared to another act I despise, that pretty much does it for me. I suppose that’s a shame, really.
I mention all this out of my Eminem posting from a few days back. I wrote that I didn’t like the song (I did, in fact, call it “crap”) but perhaps that was misconstrued. See, I don’t like modern rap – but late 80s and 90s rap is another story. There was a time in which I was a big rap/R&B fan – because about a decade ago, I felt like those sorts of songs didn’t all sound cookie cutter. Today, I have a problem with rap for many reasons, usually because I can’t understand the words and the lyrics are just not smart.
To its credit, Rolling Stone does review a diverse mix of genres – but it’s still usually by acts that are 1) really famous or 2) really hip.
Back in the 80s, Glam was mocked, mocked and mocked some more. I’ve never quite understood that, except that maybe critics couldn’t get past androgyny and staring at men in makeup, shredding a guitar. So while Rolling Stone and their contemporaries back in 1987 were reviewing Motley Crue, they were also praising Bruce Springsteen and U2. Maybe if it wasn’t even intentional, those critics sort of created a rift in the music scene: a “line-in-the-sand” if you will that separated the Glam Metallers from the so-called "smarter" rockers.
Perhaps we should all just be a little more open minded with our music selections?