I’m a little annoyed, so instead of getting grumpy with my wife, short with my kids or ranting on Twitter, I thought I’d gather my thoughts and talk to you about songs.
Why songs, and why am I annoyed? I’ll be open and honest: The Guardian is my natural UK media habitat. But I just saw a link on their website for a piece they call “The 20 best songs of 2019”. Feel free to click that link and find out what lies behind the title. But do pop back.
Their choices aren’t why I’m here, typing away when I should be doing the washing up. I simply do not think it is possible to judge what songs are “the best”.
What fruit is “the best”? Apples? Bananas? What biscuit is the best? Custard Cream? Jaffa Cake (don’t get me started on whether they are biscuits!)? We can all have a strong opinion on which we’d rather eat, but my point is you can’t compare these things as better or worse. They are different.
Can you say Hey Jude is “better” than Born Slippy? You might, but for me that doesn’t work. I appreciate both, probably prefer Born Slippy in 6/10 situations, but perhaps not early on a Sunday morning. *Prefer* is the key word.
Not only are all songs different (well, most… but plagiarism is another blog topic), but they are also works of ‘art’, in a broad sense of the word. I guess the melodic or lyrical components of a song can be analysed by people with more time on their hands than I, but mostly with music we’re talking about subjective commentary. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?
On the off-chance one of The Guardian’s music editorial team ends up reading this, I’ll offer some thoughts on what I, as a loyal reader, music lover and slightly irritated music professional might prefer to see them discuss. How about:
“10 singer-songwriters we’ve enjoyed in 2019.”
“5 hip-hop albums from 2019 that we think non-hip-hop fans may like.”
“Our writers’ favourite songs of 2019”.
What say you? Feel free to disagree! After all, this isn’t a competition either.