What sort of music do you like?
We've all been asked this question. I generally reply with some vague response about liking a bit of everything, but when a friend asked me that again this week, I took some time to list out some different songs and artists to sample the various areas of what I enjoy.
After failing to settle on a properly themed playlist for you people, I figured I'd share a list of songs which starts to answer the above question. While a large amount of music has been left off (no baroque/romantic/classical period work), there are enough example songs from completely different genres to build the answer for the sort of music I like. I know the rules want me to take you on a journey, and this journey is through how my mind looks for certain characteristics in songs, regardless of genre.
I think it'd be cool to see playlists that you guys would generate for the same purpose. Also, I'm the youngest one here, so now that you know how I rock, fire away with suggestions from your much larger musical experiences!
I'm not one to be pedantic about genres, so I'm going to classify them by how they sound to me. I am also going to describe the songs in ways that won't make sense to anyone else because it's all inside my head. Deal with it.
Hip hop - Don't Feel Right - The Roots
While my interest in hip hop is limited, songs like DFR have such an irresistible groove that they find their way into my jam lists. I can also make sense of what is being said, and can follow the message of the rap, which gives the piece more impact.
Electronic instrumental - Moon - Little People
I could have put several songs in this slot, but Moon fit because I'm a sucker for a rolling piano backing loop. The popping of the beat combines with the soft tones of the electronic instruments to create a smooth and chill effect.
Electronic vocal - Ice Machine - Royksopp
I first ran into this song quite a while ago after stumbling upon the Royksopp's Late Night Tales album. This song in particular clearly displays the running beat and bass line which keeps the momentum and energy moving forward. The gentle, light vocals are a great contrast to the crisp rhythm.
Electronic-biased rock - I Might Be Wrong - Radiohead
Again, the persistent bass moves the piece along. The variety of textures work together in a slightly haunting minor key to make this one a keeper. I absolutely love the keyboard (?) that echoes the bass line and ultimately leaves us with its last repeat.
Mildly hard rock - Spiders - System of a Down
I love the wild dynamic in this song. The melody sneaks up on you, starting every so softly and jumping up into a punchy growl. The percussion is perfectly syncopated but is no more complex than it needs to be.
Emo rock - Bittersweet Memories - Bullet For My Valentine
The verse portions make this song for me. The guitar is used sparingly, but the drums and vocals seem to bridge the gaps and the sort of lull that setup creates is really fun when combined with the harmony. Also, breakup sad sad (dies hair blue).
I don't even know rock - I Appear Missing - Queens of the Stone Age
This Queens of the Stone Age are delightfully unique. However, still present is the excellent syncopation which keeps the feeling of weight and momentum going.
A little bit of everything rock - The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness - Coheed and Cambria
The first portion of this song bounces along (with a decidedly not very perky content), transitioning into a darker tone as the halfway mark approaches. I love the grand scale of the pieces by C&C. Their songs can fill your mind with such a variety of riffs, runs, and beats that a seven minute song remains fresh and exciting even when played on repeat.
Epic rock - Aquarius - Within Temptation
This song won this spot with the soaring female vocals backed by a sharp, hard hitting guitar foundation. This doesn't need much explaining.
Piano driven rock - Sunburn - MUSE
I'm fairly confident Muse songs have netted the most plays on my Spotify account, but no song has remained so continually exciting as Sunburn. Something about the way the piano consistently dances above the emotive vocals and is offset by the deep running bass just clicks in my mind.
Perfected soft rock - On a Day Like Today - Keane
If I had to choose one album to remain my only musical haven for the rest of my days, it'd be a toss up between Keane's first and second albums.
Stellar vocals - Between the Bars - The Civil Wars
John Paul and Joy have some of the most perfectly matched voices, up there with Simon and Garfunkel. Their split is very saddening, but they have left behind some devastatingly beautiful gems.
John Mayer - You're No One 'Til Someone Lets You Down - John Mayer
I put John Mayer in his own spot because he's pretty special. I love that this song was made just a year or so ago by a popular artist. While Mayer made have started in cutesy pop, the guy has put out some quality, instrumentally artistic work in a time when Bieber is what the public loves. He also has mad skills on the guitar. Continuum has some really groovy bits.
What I want played at my funeral on massive speakers - Little Wing - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Enough said. Listen to the guitar sing.