January 7, 2009
My English Lit professor brother-in-law’s music tastes are typically very refined. To give you an idea, while he appreciates country artists like Emmylou Harris and Kasey Chambers, folky singer/songwriters such as Ani DiFranco, Jazz musicians like Miles Davis and so on, his biggest music passion is classical music, Mahler in particular. In fact, classical music is an integral part of his life. He grew up with it, his father sent my nephew about 50 classical music CDs to get his classical library started when he was only five-years-old and that same poor nephew is required to alternate between his preferred music and classical music every other night as he falls asleep.
Sometime, over the holidays, we were talking about how I write for a country music blog. The conversation led to him saying, “Oh, I just read a review in the New Yorker about a teen country artist who is supposed to be a brilliant songwriter.” I was like, “really? Who?” After he couldn’t retrieve the name, I kind of jokingly asked, “Taylor Swift?”, You can imagine my surprise when he enthusiastically answered, “Yeah, that’s her name!” I asked, “Did they at least mention that she can’t sing very well”, which was answered with a “No, I don’t think so. I think they said she had a good voice too.”
I happened to have an external hard drive full of all of my digital music with me, which includes Swift’s two albums (Don’t ask!). So, after trying to convince him that while Taylor is good at what she does, she’s neither a good singer nor a brilliant songwriter to no avail, I gave in and burned him a CD of her music. We listened to it a little that night and ribbed him for allowing the New Yorker (his favorite magazine) to influence him so much.
Now, at this point, I don’t know if he actually truly agrees that Taylor Swift is a gifted singer and brilliant songwriter, but my sister did inform me that he took the CD with him on their trip to visit his mom in Massachusetts the next day.
Alrighty then! If The New Yorker says so…
So, the point of this pointlessly long anecdote is this:
Historically, it’s uncharacteristic of both The New Yorker and my brother-in-law to praise an artist like Taylor Swift.
What artist or song do you find that you enjoy despite the fact that it’s outside of your typical music taste?