For my last review of 2010, I had the chance to reflect a little more about why the heck I seem to love music that is long, wordless, and full of harsh static. I get annoyed with writing reviews from time to time because of the so-called conventions that suggest that, as the reviewer, I’m supposed to pretend I’m some kind of objective authority while at the same time, expected to not specifically mention my own experience with the music.
It’s a ruse I’ve never been comfortable keeping up. I just don’t see the point in curbing subjectivity into numb-tongued lines like “The listener may find the guitars exhilirating,” or, “One wonders whether or not the drummer had a lobotomy around the 2-minute mark.” However, the challenge means I have a bit more room to test these boundaries.
So, this review is on The Fun Years’ newest full-length, God Was Like, No (which gets my vote for best album title of 2010), and I explore why fans of dissonant, “boring music that sounds like a broken stereo” feel the need to apologize or explain away their quizzical taste. And with that, a little taste:
This question may be worth more than a cheap chuckle. Ambient afficianados are often reluctant to shout their love of the drone from the rooftops. Such admissions usually result in pedantry (“Um, no. Actually, I said Ben Frost, not Ben Folds.”), or awkward deflection (“What do I listen to? Uhhh—hey! Nice jeggings you got there!”). While one might not be embarrassed to admit a love for the type of beautiful music that goes nowhere slowly, it is often difficult to find non-internet venues in which one can openly laud Stars of the Lid without having to explain who they are or to try to put into words why one likes what sounds to others like a skipping CD. Read More