Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt

Day 16

Day 16. A song that you used to love but now hate

Try as I might, nothing jumps out at me here. Strange, really, because there are probably a hundred wines that I used to love but don't particularly care for any longer; with wine, the more I know about winemaking, the less tolerance and understanding I have for certain styles, especially those whose foundational elements are primarily human-engineered and not natural in origin.

Music doesn't really work like that for me, though; there are plenty of songs that I didn't like the first, second, fifth, or twentieth time I heard them, but which eventually blossomed into pleasurable listening experiences. Yes, there are also plenty of songs which I liked just fine the first several dozen times, but which grew less interesting over time and which I haven't heard in some time (an example: J. G. Thirlwell's Node Wresting, which is a fantastic track, but which I haven't felt a need to listen to since shortly after buying that album). However, there just aren't a lot of songs - if any - that I actively hate after once having enjoyed them.

So, in lieu of anything better, I'll give you this:

I kind of like XTC (and I really, really like The Dukes of Stratosphear). But it's never been stronger than a weak like. I liked that Oranges and Lemons was packaged on three 3" CDs, but twenty years on I have only the vaguest memories of the songs on that album. I remember that Fruit Nut is a God awful song. I remember that Love On A Farmboy's Wages is beautiful. And so on: I still own XTC CDs, but I'm usually not sure why.

Nonsuch, their final album (OK, technically not, but it sure felt like it at the time), well, I remember liking it... I guess. Sure, it had the usual quotient of stuff on it that initially left me entirely cold (Rook), but other parts of it I vaguely remember having liked. Today, however, I went back to the album for the first time in pretty much forever, and realized that yeah, I kinda sorta do hate this song, which was a big hit at the time (just before I graduated from college, in the spring of 1992). The tempo is plodding, it sounds weirdly dated, the political references are trite and uninteresting, and the video itself is really not helpful in any sense of the word. In short, it's middling XTC, but a good example of "political music" - in the most high school sense of the word. Hearing lyrics along the lines of "nailed him to a chunk of wood" makes me cringe; it's not clever, it's actually totally fucking obvious, and the banality of it all is overwhelming.

It's possible that I thought this was cool as a 22 year old, that I found this thinly veiled retelling of Christ's story somehow clever or (God forbid) rockin'. Now, though, it's just pathetic, really. After all, if you can't write anything new or interesting, might as well just rehash the Bible in a transparently obvious way, add some ringing guitars and a shitty video, and see if you can turn it into a radio friendly unit shift.

I'm through with XTC, but at least I'll always have Ladybird.

  • It's July 2013.

    Remember when I wrote a lot on LiveJournal? Yeah, me neither.

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