When I was a teen, James Taylor’s “Anywhere Like Heaven” reflected my angsty, lonely boy spot on and in my 20s Elvis Costello’s “Lipstick Vogue” -with its line for every single one of us, “You want to throw me away? Well I’m not broken” was a rallying cry as a way out of one life and into another. By my 30s John Coltrane” otherworldly skronking love supreme. the greatest 32 minutes you’ll ever hear and still not an answer but a clearing made towards the right questions. But in my 60s, music now fails to reflect what I feel.
It isn’t the music, though it may be the times we live in, or maybe the way our time is mutating away from music (I really go back as far as 1980s music videos for that), also with age comes a certain amount of cynicism: singers like Julien Baker and bands like Soccer Mom may have valid things to discuss but it leaves me shrugging it away. cardi B and Nicki Minaj are both great but their solipsism lyrically doesn’t entice me (It isn’t the word but the way the words sound).
There was a time I could listen to music as an emotional looking glass and that doesn’t happen anymore, hip hop, country, pop, rock: none of it speaks to my experiences. When I was a kid I went from lyric to song, now I stay with song, it is about the sound and the sound exists in a vacuum. Whatever is surrounding pop music in 2018, the ongoing culture wars. Is deflected towards the arrangement of infinite tracks into a whole.
I’ve had some stuff on my mind and I have been listening to music, as always, essentially all the time, but I couldn’t fit anything to match my emotional make up: Perhaps some kids still do, but I don’t know who can listen to Drake and think that he is speaking for them, except maybe Vince Staples.