Good Taste’s Requiem

Many teenagers believe that their music taste is distinguished to some degree. However, does that mean that their music taste is good? To determine if the opinion of one person can be justified as a well-founded and educated fact, in a collaboration between Dominic Monacelli and Alessandro Romero, the collaborators shared three of their favorite distinguished pieces of music. Each collaborator then reviews each other’s music and overall taste. Although they are not musicologists or seasoned musicians, they shall judge with a critical eye. 


Alessandro Romero’s Review: 

The first music ‘piece’ from Dominic’s list I have reviewed was Tungs” by the Frights. Before I even listened to the song, I was confused as to what that the title meant, since it is not even a word. Perhaps the ridiculous name that invokes disdain was intentional, since the title of the album that contains the song is called “You are Going to Hate This,” and I most certainly already started to hate the song before the first note played. The song itself had some variety while being outlined by its constant, slow bass. The theme was generic about how this person was ruined themselves for their spouse. Like the futile and self-damaging efforts of the lover, this song was completely pointless. Sure, it was entertaining, which is perhaps the primary reason to listen to music; however, that is not what makes music. It is the structure and overall theme that a good one percent listens to. Thus, this song is bad because I did not like the theme because of its redundant message, even if it succeeds in the most important aspect of being an actual entertaining piece of music. 

The next thing of sound I reviewed was “*Sobs Quietly*” by Moms Jeans, which is also a title that makes me sob quietly. Despite titles not being an important aspect of a song in general, I still feel the melancholy that a funeral conveys when I read this title. The actual song starts off with a familiar melody that reminisces a slow country song. Then, it ruins it with the unique part of the song that I am sure the band worked hard on, but it still ruined the only good part of it. This unique part is of a fast rock guitar that then goes into angsty lyrics. These angsty lyrics convey something that is the same as saying, “My heart is stabbed.” I appreciate depressing angst occasionally, but I sob when it is about another guy getting stabbed in his fickle, fragile heart. Again, the song did entertain me, but I must put my passionate side away in order to be an unbiased critic. The song is lackluster at best because I feel like I am listening to another alternative rock song that sings about the writers’ failed ‘relationships.’ Therefore, “*Sobs Quietly*” is also in tears about it being a terrible song as well.  

The final tragedy of music I then reviewed was “Marceline the Vampire” by the Steppes. I will give credit to this title; it makes actual sense. I will also give the Steppes credit for not being completely angsty like in the previous songs. Sure, the lyrics can get a little angsty, but at least it is not a person screaming because their heart burns from cold water. The actual musical elements of the song are fine. It is just another rock with a somewhat interesting use of the guitar. It was enjoyable despite being unimaginably dull and saturated when joined with other two previous songs. In my most educated and esoteric opinion, the song is alright but nothing truly special. 

Overall, Dominic’s taste seems to mostly revolve around rock music that invokes that feeling that he has a failed relationship in the past, but I am not one to assume. The rocks songs themselves were enjoyable as they contained some unique qualities in sound and pace. However, that does not excuse the most egregious thing the song has done to my eyes and not the ears: the titles. Never in my life do I want to bear witness to asterisks in a song title every again. The angsty lyrics were something that I could tolerate somewhat, but the titles were an entirely new kind of evil. The titles are just so bad, except the last song. Should titles really judge the music that is being reviewed? Absolutely, titles should dictate the quality of the actual song despite not being sound at all. Therefore, these songs are the most terrible things I listened to, and I have listened to modern country music.  

Dominic’s Review:

The first song on Alessandro’s list was “Autumn Leaves”, by Eric Clapton. I was pleasantly surprised by Clapton’s ability to really tap into the feelings of Autmn. The song, just like the season, seemed nice at first, but soon revealed itself to be repetitive and boring. The early illusion of beauty was actually my soul numbing between the pauses of the eight lines of lyrics in the almost six minutes of song. I admit, this piece would be a fun challenge to learn on guitar like Clapton plays it, but if you are to look at through any other lens, it becomes unenjoyable.

Watching paint dry. Writing a novel. Raising a family. These are some things that you could probably do in the time “Starless” by King Crimson takes to play. It is a 12 minute song. I know entire LPs that are shorter than this. That inherently is not a bad thing. What is, is that I had to remind myself to pay attention to the song multiple times throughout listening. Starless had nice variety, it was enjoyable when it had my attention. I feel like if I was able to somehow get through the whole thing, there would be a feeling of achievement when the song ended. Starless was great, but its length makes it intimidating and hard to listen to. at times. However when I can walk a mile before a song ends it is too long of a song.

Chopin. A musical genius. One of the greatest to ever compose. Arguably, his most influential work came with Nocturne Opus 48 no.1. I will admit that I am out of my depth reviewing this piece of classical music. However, that is not going to stop me from nit picking. The music was proof enough that Choppin was grieving while writing the song, and it must have been a really tough time for him, considering he forgot to name the piece. I know as he is reading this, Alessandro will be thinking about the titles in the songs that I gave him, and how one had two asterisks in it. And to that point, I say, I am not above hypocrisy.

In summary, never pass Alessandro the aux. I am imagining driving around with someone, and them putting on Nocturne Opus 48 no.1 and trying to get me into it. Even if he tries to bargain with you, asking for but a single song, don’t cave. The song will take an hour.

After reviewing the piece, I have come to a stunning conclusion. Alessandro is actually an 80-year-old man stuck in a high schooler’s body. My best guess is Freaky Friday style. I swear that I have heard him say things like “You darn kids…” in the classroom before. The music selection that he chose supports this theory. No teenager would willingly listen to this collection of songs. To the real Alessandro, if you are still out there, trapped in a wrinkly old body, just know I am going to do everything I can to bring you back to your original body.

After going back and forth in person, each of us trying to claim victory over the other, we came to an agreement. Today, “Alessandro” and I learned absolutely nothing. We both think that our music taste is superior, and that the others might not actually qualify as “music” or “taste.” But that is life. Not everything is a lesson. Sometimes you just fail.

Here is a playlist of all songs we talked about in this article.