I love music. I listen to all genres and all styles (my iPod contains over 12,000 songs). Since I was a child, music has always been an important part of my life.
I can still remember the first album I bought – “Controversy” by Prince. In retrospect, no 11-year-old boy should have been listening to that record, but it fueled my appreciation of synth-pop, funk, and rock music.
While I would never play this album for my own children, I do like to expose them to the music of my youth.
But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shield them of the prefabricated crap that passes for music today.
Like every parent before me, I despise this generations’ music. Compared to the Jonas Brothers, New Kids on the Block and N’Sync were musical geniuses. And don’t even get me started on Ke$ha or Lady GaGa.
It is with this backdrop that I attempted to buy my daughter some music for her 9th birthday. My challenge was to find something that was current, age-appropriate and not too insipid.
I spent about an hour listening to many of today’s popular artists on iTunes. I’m sure I lost several IQ points in the process. After that mind-numbing experience, I decided to visit the local music store to get some recommendations.
The clerk informed me that many tweens loved Justin Bieber. I had never heard of him, but I took her advice and purchased the CD because Usher produced it. When I got home, I listened to a few sample tracks from the CD and immediately regretted my decision. Thankfully, my daughter informed me that she was no Bieber fan. I praised God and rushed to the store to exchange the CD.
After scouring the CD racks several more times, I eventually settled on the following artists for the reasons described:
- Christina DeBarge – I was a fan of her father’s group DeBarge
- Taylor Swift – She has talent and is not entirely offensive, no matter what Kanye West might think
- Jordin Sparks – My daughter liked her when she was a contestant on American Idol and her remake of Shannon’s “Let the Music Play” allowed me to share the original version with my daughter.
Much to my chagrin, my daughter’s aunt bought her a Miley Cyrus CD and now that stupid song, “Party in the USA” is stuck in my head.
A few days later, I walked into my daughter’s room while she was listening to her music and she asked, “Daddy, why don’t you listen to any cool music like Black Eyed Peas or Miley Cyrus?”
“Because I listen to music that is actually cool,” I said as I walked downstairs to listen to some Prince.