Monday, June 28, 2010

In Response To Your Question...

My taste in music has never been in line with the other kids of my social circle. In secondary school I enjoyed the musical stylings of Garth Brooks and Bryan Adams. The second through seventh CDs I ever bought were Garth Brooks. It was a box set. The first had been the soundtrack to Grosse Pointe Blank.

Anyway, the point is, I've always enjoyed music that isn't exactly topping the charts in Ireland. I don't think "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" counts, as even Bryan Adams hates that song now from what I've heard.

A while ago I discussed my amazing discovery that the Xbox 360 is female. This accurate assumption is based on the fact that she can multitask, playing games and music at the same time! While describing the life changing effects this revelation had on me, I casually mentioned that I was now used to playing games listening to such artists as Chesney Hawkes and Hanson. Amongst the hundreds of comments that followed this controversial and groundbreaking blog post, my good friend Lynn questioned "Hanson AND Chesney Hawkes? Did you buy them ironically". I shall now explain.

Chesney Hawkes is easy. "I Am The One And Only" is a guilty love of mine. At home, when Claire is still at work, I love singing Chesneys one hit wonder at the top of my lungs... or, at least, slightly above an inaudible murmur.

Hanson is a little more difficult. For well over a decade I joined any sane minded individual in cringing at the sound of an "mmm-bop" or the sight of a pack of long, blond haired males. The mere mention of Hanson was enough to make me laugh. And Claire agreed with me.

Until last year when someone mentioned them in one of the many, many blogs she reads. More specifically, they mentioned a particular documentary series made by the band themselves called Strong Enough To Break. The entire thing is up on YouTube by the boys themselves in an epic series of 12 posts! It is well worth watching, telling the story of how Hanson evolved from the teenyboppers they were at the time of their breakout number one hit to the pop rock grownups they are today.

Claire spent a fair length of time telling me and anyone who would listen how cool Hanson suddenly were, but we all ignored her. Then she got hold of the latest two albums, 2004's Underneath, and 2007's The Walk and got them onto her iPod. Thus followed an unavoidable exposure to the works of Hanson on any car journey that lasted longer than three minutes.

Not that it actually took that long. I found myself humming along to the tracks before we had left city limits. Penny and Me quickly became one of my favourite tracks to listen to while walking, cooking, or, yes, even playing Xbox. Crazy Beautiful, Misery and Georgia are also fantastic tracks, but honestly, it's just trying to pick from an incredible bunch. There are few artists, Messers Brooks and Adams included, that have entire albums that I enjoy listening to. Hanson almost has two. I leave out the last track from Underneath as it includes a hidden track, causing it to also include five minutes of silence. Annoying if you have your iPod in your back pocket and would rather not have to fish it out to move onto the next track.

In the end, music is for your soul. It needs to be felt within you, not just listened to. As much as MMMBop reminds me of teeny-boppers and terrible taste, Hanson makes me smile, hum, sing, and dance (when no-one's looking). Their stuff won't be for everyone, but it deserves to be heard by a lot more people than it is currently. Give them a chance. Listen to their most recent works. If you don't like them, that's fine. Just don't ignore them based on a single from 1997. Instead, try out their latest single "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'" from their newest, just released album, Shout It Out.

I have no excuse for Chesney Hawkes. Sorry.

No comments: