21 September 2015


Scenario 1: You couldn’t care less about Matchbox 20, except you find Rob Thomas kind of cute and his Ever the Same — a hit from his solo album — equally worthy of attention. So one downtime at the office, you share the song to a colleague in the next cubicle: “Listen, isn’t this nice?” To which she responds, “I’m not a fan of that beat. It’s repetitive and predictable and has no depth.” Her facial expression adding the subtext: You’ve just taken precious minutes off my life. Get away from me, I have better things to do.

Scenario 2: A big fan of Aegis, April Boy Regino, Sarah Geronimo and Charice Pempengco, you’ve created the ultimate OPM playlist featuring the four artists and, proud of your hard work, shared it on Facebook. Five slices of pizza, two diet Cokes and a Big Bang Theory rerun later, you return to the computer to find your FB notifications exploding with likes and shares — and the occasional but hostile “what a hipster” and its variation “what a know-it-all, tastemaker wannabe” comments.

Scenario 3: The entire squad is at an Ariana Grande concert. You spot a hunk in the crowd. Yes, thank god it’s turning out to be an awesome night. Then the band plays an unfamiliar tune. Not sure of what’s coming up, you train your eyes back to the boy with a matinee idol face and chiseled body, who, by now, is singing every word to Honeymoon Avenue — with feelings. Your girlfriends begin to have a quizzical look on their face, some of them already raising an eyebrow.

The judgment is real.

The scenarios above are based on true stories. In an ideal world, we should feel no guilt in liking the music we like. But we live in a real world with real people really disgusted by our musical taste or lack thereof (we have to acknowledge the times, though, when we’re on the other end of judging, whether we do it deliberately or not).

Sometimes it’s not even guilt that’s inside us but a form of resignation. Knowing that disclosing our musical preference can elicit reactions ranging from surprise to revulsion (complete with theoretical explanations of why so-and-so songs and so-and-so artists suck), we keep it to ourselves and skirt the process of, in a way, defending our choices.

With that, I bring you a collection of those songs that are popular for the “wrong” reasons — but we play on repeat anyway. Sing along, out loud and with all your heart without having to be ironic about it.

—Originally published on GIST.PH

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