Saturday, 2 February 2013
I try to be opened-minded about other people’s music taste. Though the thought of sitting through an Opera, or a two-hour long Justin Bieber session is not a particularly thrilling prospect, I respect that other people may think it the greatest music in the world. However, there is one genre that I object to, and that is 'Emo'.
I’m not going to try and list all the bands I consider to fall into this genre – it’s not my place to do so, nor does it seem particularly fair. But I can’t help but notice, particularly over recent years, the increasing popularity of what seems to be depressing, incredibly harsh, sad music – music which has the potential to be hugely damaging.
There’s always going to be sadness in the world, and there will always be the need for a soundtrack to match that – god knows bands such as Radiohead and The Joy Division have mastered such music. However, this sadness seems to have been taken to worryingly extreme lengths. 'Emo’ bands have been known to express how exhausting it is to tour with these songs – so surely they might recognise the effect it may be having on those listening? Call me naïve, but I don’t think I could bring myself to release songs into the universe that could have a seriously negative effect on other people’s lives. Such bands have no idea who their music could be reaching. Those in the public eye, especially musicians, are considered role-models or idols by many, particularly young people. Success and fame is all well and good, but it inevitably comes with a sense of responsibility – which many fail to acknowledge.
There have been campaigns and articles in recent weeks, highlighting the importance of discussing mental health, some featuring in major music magazines. However, some are advertising ‘Emo’ bands, just a few pages later. Of course, I’m not saying we should all start listening to One Direction and celebrate the constant joy of life – but there is a huge leap between sad, thoughtful songs, and ones which are simply depressing. An odd obsession with death and pain has crept into the music industry in recent years - and it's very worrying indeed.