Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A personal journey through music

I've been thinking recently about the ways in which I love and have loved music. It's ironic that I love it so much now as an adult, as I really didn't start appreciating music until 1998, when I was 11! Before that I liked a few odd songs, but never bought any music or went out of my way to listen to it. But now a lot of my favourites are 90s songs that I enjoyed at the time but have rediscovered in the noughties, having bought various compilations and learnt more about the history of the industry. The Corrs' sophomore album Talk On Corners changed my views on music albums wise, when I received it along with my first stereo in 1998, and Cher's seminal anthem Believe was the first single/song that I truly loved and became obsessed with, so all hail the vocoder!!! From circa October 1998 onwards I'd listen to the chart every week to hear the latest songs. I suppose my music phases can be briefly grouped as the following;

1987-1998 - I didn't really listen to/enjoy an awful lot of music aside for a few songs and never listened to any album until 1998. I was always extremely cultural aware though, for somebody who didn't actually listen to much music. I could tell you the full names of every Spice Girl, and probably even every member of Solid Harmoine! I read the magazines and stored all of the information but didn't listen to the music - it was a very strange relationship to the industry.

1999-2002 - From here on in I primarily listened to and loved chart dance, thanks to ATB's 9PM (Till I Come) and Alice Deejay's Better Off Alone at first, although I did like pop - very little from any other genres though. I first watched the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999 and recall liking Charlotte Nilsson, Selma, Evelin Samuel and Precious (which I bought on single on its release week, not realising that it was anything to do with ESC - obsessive in waiting!). The 2000 contest I only liked Alsou and Ines so basically wrote off my Eurovision love as a passing fad. But then 2001 had about 10 songs I loved and this was when the real obsession kicked in. My favourite song of all time also surfaced during this period - the Rob Searle trance remix of N-Trance's Set You Free. Defines perfection. If I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life, it would have to be this.

2003 - This was a big transition year for me, and my least favourite year of the 00's for many reasons (personal as well as musical - finishing school and doing exams, starting college, getting a job - I found it all very stressful). There was NO good dance about all year which devestated me, so I had to turn my attentions elsewhere. Delta Goodrem turned me fully on to pop music at this point. I loved Born To Try instantly but wasn't a real convert until I bought the Innocent Eyes album in the summer. From that point onwards I stopped being so all over the place with my tastes and pop was at the forefront now.

2004-2005 - I went through a piano singer/songwriter phase - Sarah McLachlan/Missy Higgins/Lucie Silvas etc... - all spawned from my love of Delta. I Still loved pure pop and dance started to seep back into my tastes too. I finally started to like male artists after six years of only caring for females, with very very few exceptions (Tanel Padar & Dave Benton, Eiffel 65, Wheatus, ATB - that's about it!). It was the summer domination of James Blunt and Daniel Powter (who I LOVED) which got me into males finally, bizarrely. I also finally loved a rap song for the first time - The Avenue by Roll Deep! And Kelly Clarkson and The Veronicas kick started a love affair with pop-rock too.

2006-2007 - This was when I really started to branch out with my musical tastes. I finally opened up to stuff from any and every genre, besides still loving pop and dance. Notably, after always hating it, Carrie Underwood turned me on to the occasional delights of country music! Males started to rule my tastes at various times, females at others. Two thoroughly good years for music across the spectrum - 2006 had Voodoo Child, Hips Don't Lie and Rock Steady, 2007 had With Every Hearbeat, Rule The World, Love Song and Believe Again all surface within mere weeks of each other (ok Robyn was slightly earlier!). I started going to gigs a lot during these years too, although I had been to a few in 2004-2005, but I was at uni in these two years and it was very much routine for me (and surely most students!?!) by now.

2008-present - nowadays I'm open to just about anything, and will give anything a chance. Inide, rock, dance (I enjoy all sub genres of it basically too), any type of pop, country, really coming around to love rap and R&B nowadays too. I just listen to a lot more variety, more foreign music, far less UK chart music than ever before. My tastes have certainly developed over the years - I love things now that I never would have loved when I was much more narrow minded and dance obsessed ten years ago. But my heart does remain with pop and dance primarily. And it will take somebody truly special indeed to ever penetrate my three favourite artists ever - Delta Goodrem, The Corrs and Shakira - nobody holds a light to these three for me. Other artists I've gone on and off but whenever I think I might be getting bored of one of these, they pull something truly sensational out of the bag (Believe Again, the entire Borrowed Heaven album, and She Wolf/Waka Waka respectively). I mustn't underestimate the contribution of the following so far unmentioned acts on my life in terms of my musical 'journey' though: Girls Aloud, Kylie Minogue, Take That, Lady GaGa, Colbie Caillat, KT Tunstall, Kelly Llorenna, Atomic Kitten, Christina Aguilera, Natasha Bedingfield, Mariah Carey and Vanessa Amorosi - all incredibly instrumental in shaping my tastes and indeed soundtracking my life so far.

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