Wednesday, 23 December 2009

What do I like in my music?

If you have ever visited my last.fm page you might wonder random landscape you had stepped in to.

Eclectic. Yes, you could say that. Even just looking at my top 6 you'll see The Beatles, Iron Maiden and Jethro Tull. Who listens to all that?

So to cast off the rumour that my taste in music is actually no taste at all, I thought I would throw together a list of the things I look for in my music. A tick next to any one of them will get the music a listen. Two or more and I've probably found a new favourite.

So without any further ado and in no particular order (except perhaps #1).


  1. A beat that your head can bang along to. Self-inflicted whiplash? Yes, please.

  2. Unusual instruments. Think flute and mandolin (thank you Jethro Tull), operatic vocals in metal music, harpsichord, accordion (button for your Sharon Shannon, piano for Al Yankovic).

  3. Unusual voices. Ian Anderson, Kristin Hersh, Kasey Chambers, Mark Knopfler.

  4. Powerful voices. Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, David Coverdale.

  5. Lyrics that tell a story. Mythical themes and folklore for an extra point.

  6. Creative blending of genres within an album (or even a song). Tull (again), Queen.

  7. Folk music (Irish and English and their descendants mostly) and anything that blends it with. Flogging Molly for Irish folk and The Currency for Aussie Folk.

  8. Sadness. Depressing stories and melancholy music. An offering for my inner emo if you like. I have a special playlist on my iTunes I just call "Melancholy".

  9. Surprises in lyrics or music. Things that you hear that you really wouldn't expect. Like when Ozzy Osborne sings "They should realize before they criticize that God is the only way to love".

  10. A bass line you can feel. Steve Harris is the master.

  11. A certain amount of obscurity. No one else has heard of this band? Gimme.

  12. Nostalgia. Some songs just remind me of a particular time in my life and will always be favourites, even if they aren't very good (hello, Duran Duran old friend).