Tuesday, June 14, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 14: A Song No One Would Expect You To Love

As I've grown older, I've become far less confident in my ability to correctly predict what other people think. That seems counterintuitive to me, since one would expect that more years of experience-- more interpersonal "data points"-- would make it easier to recognize patterns and improve one's predictive capabilities.  Not so in my experience.  Rather, people just seem more unpredictable, more idiosyncratic, more mysterious.

Today's is a difficult prompt, because it requires me to step outside of myself and try to think about what others think about what I think about music. Others know that I think a lot about music, so what I really have to consider is what others think about my tastes, my prejudices and biases, even my own image of myself as a music-lover. Meta-meta post here, for sure.

Of course, no one who has read my music posts over the years would expect me to love a Celtic song, or death-metal song, or an experimental jazz song, all of which fall within genres of music that I don't like and don't listen to.  I won't be upsetting those expectations today.  And even though there are specific artists/bands within my preferred genres about whom I have made my dislike clear-- Taylor Swift, The Doors, etc-- it would be a stretch to say that no one would expect me to love at least one of their songs.

So, today I'm choosing a song that I don't think people would be surprised to learn that I like, but may not expect me to love.  My pick is Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" from her 1999 self-titled debut album.  Here it is:

Where does one mark the difference between liking a song and loving a song?  What is it that pushes a track over the line into that second, favored category? This is one of the great mysteries of pop music and if I knew of some universal way to coax that genie out of the bottle, I'd patent the formula and retire.  (Just kidding, I wouldn't retire.  I'd pay off my debts and still teach,)  But if you said to me in particular" I want to write you a song that you love. What should I do?"  I think I'd likely lift my answer to that question straight from Aguilera's lyrics.

You gotta rub me the right way.

Click here to return to the "anchor page" for #30DaySongChallenge2016 with the full list of this year's picks

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