Guy, who used to live here
, noticed/complained the other day that my approach to music is very dry and analytical. I'll admit to the second charge definitely, and I suppose to the outsider the first would seem to be quite accurate as well. But I don't think an appreciation for details
necessarily counteracts an emotional reaction to music, or a sense of awe even, which I feel frequently.
I guess that the side effect of listening to a lot of electronic or studio-based music is that having a love for sounds as opposed to "songs" becomes my default approach - you can't really appreciate dance music on any other level than the aural/physical, unless you're one of those types who grows sentimental over a track that played at your first rave etc.
Right now though I'm listening to The Sundays' Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, one of my favourite records and also one which I can't even begin to explain my love for. I know that I love love love so many things about it - the way "Can't Be Sure" delays its chorus until the end so when it does arrive its rapturous, or the giddy jangle of "Hideous Towns", or how the slightest tinge of violence keeps threatening to upset the poise of "A Certain Someone". The thing is that beyond a few sketchy ideas about Dave Gavurin's guitar-playing ability, Harriet Wheeler's shimmering vocals and the touchingly lifelike tales she spins, I can't deconstruct it further. It exists to give me joy; I exist to validate its brilliance.
Is Reading, Writing and Arithmetic therefore better or worse than the rest of the stuff I listen to? Well, it's better than a lot of it, but I don't think my relationship with is superior just because it's more emotional. Wookie's "What's Going On" produces a similar sense of helpless infatuation within me, and I know exactly why: because it rocks.