Should we be more picky about the music we listen to?

(Courtesy of Jannat Yaqobi)

My taste in music has always been a particular and limited one. However, every time I listen to a song I always (need to) read the lyrics. But lately, I’ve noticed not many people are consciously aware of what they’re hearing in their songs.

Growing up, my mother was always an analytical and observant person, especially with media — songs, movies, TV shows, etc. This, of course, rubbed off on me, and now anytime I watch a music video, millions of thoughts run in my mind, micro-analyzing each part of it. My choice of music is solely determined by me first judging and critiquing it. I know, how pretentious?

I remember one of the first times that I did analyse the lyrics of a few songs. By merely reading the lyrics and analyses from others on the internet, I felt like I unlocked another state of consciousness. It was eye-opening, freeing, and kind of disturbing(?)

Knowing the lyrics of a song matters because it has an effect on our subconscious mind — music and lyrics in turn have an influence on our perception and behaviour. If one were to listen to music that was overall positive and uplifting, what type of effect would that have? 

Probably a positive one.

We live in a world where music is accessible anywhere and anytime. And more than ever before, I think we’re seeing just how much of an effect this media has on dictating norms. We even see with platforms like TikTok or Instagram how songs are used in trends and how these then “trending” songs become their own little subculture.

Along with this, genres of music have massively broadened in recent times. Especially in the last few years, we have seen a shift in regards to the type of popular music produced — specifically coming from the aforementioned social media platforms. We are exposed to a lot of explicit content that can indirectly dictate norms and behaviours, especially among the younger generation.

Music can truly shape who we are and how we define ourselves. People tend to judge people based on their clothes, the type of books they read, and even the condition of their car. However, it’s interesting how we can tell a lot of a person based on the type of music in their playlists. I mean, for me, music defines me through the type of people I connect to, as well as values that songs share in connecting with me.

More than that, through their songs, artists connect with their listeners through their messages. Connecting to the message and meaning of a song enrichens the experience of listening. While listening to the overall beat and jamming out is fun and all, music is so much more than that — it’s also about meaning. 

Now, I’m not trying to dictate which music is deemed “right”; you are entitled to your own music choice and preference. However, I do prompt you to keep this in mind and to be aware of these subtle notions that truly have a massive impact on you. Be open and do not let yourself close off to increasing your sense of awareness.

I challenge you to pick a song you love, and closely read the lyrics and delve into the analysis and essence of it. Did your perception of the song change? Did it get better or worse? Broaden your mind, and take control and become conscious of what you listen to. 

It’s important. 

About the Author

By Jannat Yaqobi

Former Editor

Jannat is a first year Criminology student at York. Along with being part of Excalibur, she is also part of the Criminology Society, SCOLAPS, and the YFS. She has a passion for reading, writing (particularly spoken word and slam), photography, and watching classic and vintage movies. Apart from juggling her busy (and at times hectic) schedule, one can occasionally find Jannat journaling, graphic designing, or watching Golden Girls with her mom or Friends with a cup of black tea.


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Love it!!