While they can be incredibly useful—and I certainly use them all the time—in many ways, genre labels are bullsh*t of course. Terms like ‘grunge’ and so many others can be wildly reductive and simplistic, obscuring the intricacies of the amazingly rich spectrum that music manifests as by lumping in wildly diverse artists under one umbrella term. They can be doubly unhelpful when people use them as a lens through which to dismiss things without examination. I know I’m guilty of that; I’ve done it loads of times! ‘I hate metalcore’ was a repeated refrain of mine for a decade. Then I got into a few tunes, then a few bands, and now to say that would be completely ridiculous. Despite this real life lesson, I still find it all too easy to fall back on that system of reduction and dismissal. ‘I don’t like pop music’ still gets regular usage, even though I know that’s not entirely true, as I love the pop tunes I grew up with, and a smattering of newer stuff here and there. Whether that can be attributed to nostalgia in the case of the older stuff, or the fact that some of the newer material that I like blends in elements of other genres I think the point still stands: It’s never quite as simple as a blanket dismissal. There’s always way more nuance there.
Or, actually, maybe I just need guitar solos, because I found this dude (YouTuber RoyZivMusic) who takes famous pop hits and Frankenstein-style bolts a killer guitar solo onto them. And I like every single one! I guess that’s all it takes!