Why You Should Regularly Listen To The Latest Download Charts
If you want to understand the youth and the world today, music can help you. Every generation has its soundtrack. If you know it, you can feel what the youth feels.
When I was young, I used to look down pityingly on the elderly when they listened to the same songs from the past over and over again. I'd say "Rage Against The Machine," and they could only reply "Beatles or Stones."
Not that I didn't appreciate the music of the Beatles and the Stones as well. I was able to put myself in the shoes of the generation they came from by listening to their music.
But conversely, the older generation refused to acknowledge my music. They found the new music too fashionable, too superficial, or merely uninspired. They compared everything with what they had heard before.
Today I am the old man. Well, I don't really feel old at forty-six, but I'm a fossil for a sixteen-year-old.
I, too, enjoy listening to music from my youth today. A party where Nirvana is played is a good party for me. I'll be on the dance floor immediately and shake my head as if I still had my long hair from back then.
But I also stay on the dance floor when the latest hip-hop song is played. I can dance in a club where only EDM is played and have fun. I have fun singing along to German Gansterrap and celebrate the new, upcoming rock bands.
But I only have this fun because I already know most of these songs when I hear them for the first time in a club or at a party. My wife and I have made it a habit to always listen to the latest Amazon download charts in the car. A curated Spotify playlist works just as well, of course.
Songs that sound unusual on first hearing become more interesting the more often you listen to them. It's a misconception that rappers, DJs and hip-hop crews are not excellent musicians. Even electronic dance music is often much more sophisticated than it first seems.
Those who like music will find songs worth listening to in any decade.
I think nothing is worse than people who, from the age of thirty, only live in the past. They look back wistfully on their vanished youth and mourn their lost energy. Everything new is viewed with suspicion, and the good old times are idealized, even if there is usually no real reason for it.
There is a reason why every young generation sets itself apart from the older ones with its music, fashion, and language. If they did not, there would be no progress in society and thinking.
Ultimately, music is not just an entertainment medium, but the expression of a constantly changing culture. A culture that does not develop, freezes, and dies.
Of course, you quickly feel overwhelmed by the rapid changes when you get a little older. But that is no reason to become paralyzed. Instead of denying ourselves everything new, we should remain curious and open.
The easiest way to understand the change in attitude towards life from generation to generation is through music.
It reflects the attitude of a generation. It shows us the rhythm in which the youth lives and the key in which it is tuned.
The lyrics are written in their language, and listening to them opens a door into the world of the young generation. We should listen carefully because, especially in the rich industrial nations, we run the risk of incapacitating the youth.
The average population is getting older and older, and as a result, the voices of the old are disproportionately represented in parliaments. We are now at a point in world history where we must be incredibly careful not to damage the future of young people irreparably.
If the elderly are in the majority, they have the responsibility to decide and act in the interests of the young and the future. But they can only do that if they understand the young.
I repeat it: the fastest way to understand a generation is through its music. The younger ones certainly appreciate that. My wife and I have been allowed to come to the evening parties of our nephews and nieces when it is their birthday for years. All the other adults are invited for coffee and cake in the afternoon.
Music connects. But all too often, it only connects the members of a peer group. We miss the chance to use music as a connecting element between the generations.
If you hate the music blaring from your teenage son or daughter's room, think about it before you get upset. On your next car trip, listen to the current download charts and try to capture the attitude towards life that speaks from these songs. Maybe you will soon have a much deeper connection with your child.