“Dad, you should listen to track #10.” I agreed and even turned up the volume. First a piano (nice so far), then crescendoing drums (I can handle that), followed by driving guitars perfectly accentuating the intro to the track only known as track #10. The vocals were clean and pleasant and almost had an angelic resonance. I actually liked track #10. A challenge was issued from the back of the van to guess who the band was. I already knew or surmised that it was the band that I heard the boys talking about a couple days ago who just released a new project (the band will remain nameless). After correctly identifying the band we explored more tracks. Did I mention that I liked track #10?
As it turns out, that was the only track I could stomach. Imagine someone trying to sing (or scream in this case) after gargling glass or razor blades. Why stop there? Throw in a meat cleaver, some drill bits and a hand full of sheetrock screws and you’re just getting close to what the vocals sounded like on the other tracks during my choral expedition. These forty-two year old ears could only think one thing: Hideous. Before you cringe under the weight of such a word consider it’s meaning. Hideous: horrible or frightful to the senses. Does it fit now? For you, maybe not. You were not there. As for me, it was an all out assault on my senses that only pause, stop or a hard left on the dial would terminate. Eject was another option worth consideration when I was asked why I didn’t like the music.
This was not a new question. We have had many family discussions regarding music and I’d made myself previously clear; I simply don’t like the “sound” of “that” music. My youngest pressed me further, “why don’t you like the sound?” “Well”, I said, “I can’t understand what they’re singing.” “But, you like opera?”, he quipped. “Yes, I love it”! “So, I guess you know Italian?” He had me. Not only did I not know Italian, I had fallen into his carefully contrived trap.
My friend and Pastor, Vern Streeter, draws a pretty hard line between preferences and choices made from moral convictions. Simply, my preference does not allow me to like what my children affectionately call, Screamo. I have no moral convictions to speak of preventing me from listening to the music. I just don’t like it.
My son taught me something that day. I’m judgmental of the things I don’t prefer and in this case had written off some very musically talented guys singing in a style that they prefer. I guess the world would be a pretty dull place for everyone else if only my preferences were enacted. Honestly, I have no intentions of adding this “hideous” music to my iTunes library. But, I sure like track #10.