Sunday, May 10, 2009

Music Lovers' Opinions Wanted!

If you consider yourself to have any good taste in music (who doesn't?), I would like to solicit your opinion.

Perhaps you have heard of a movie called Requiem for a Dream. Its soundtrack contains a song called Lux Aeterna which is quite often erroneously referred to as Requiem for a Dream.

Pretty much every movie or TV series that has ever had a fan-made tribute/highlight video has had someone make a video set to this song. Everyone on YouTube seems to adore this song, but as we know, most commenters on YouTube are no higher lifeforms than fungi in a scummy armpit. I like to think that any regular readers of this blog are better than that (and you do too, probably, unless you have the self esteem of a dying salted slug).

So I want to know what you think of this song. Whether you love it or hate it, I want to hear your reasons for it. Please listen to it first in its entirety, then highlight the seemingly blank section below for my opinion. It's important that you listen first, then see what I think - I want you to listen with a blank slate and for your opinion not to be affected by mine. (you are exempt from listening before highlighting if you have heard this music before)

I canNOT understand why so many people love this song. I find it to be utterly repetitive! I do admit that some parts do have that certain epic feel to them, like when the chorus comes in for spurts, or for when the tempo gets faster and the crashing drums come in (3:23, for example). But even those parts are just rehashes of the same measures that came before them, and the measures that come after them are rehashes as well. SNORE ZZZ SNORE

It is popular as trailer music, and I can see why it would do well in that form of media. Trailers are short and showcase tantalizing highlights and explosions and whatnot. I can see that it would work in a movie as purely background music. But to sit down and listen to?? I can do that with many soundtracks/soundtrack composers. Hans Zimmer and John Williams come to mind. Zimmer's soundtracks all sound similar but I find them to have an epic feel and aren't nearly as repetitive as this boring piece. And I do believe that John Williams' music can stand alone quite well. But I would never turn on Lux Aeterna just to listen to.

Of course, popular music these days is relatively repetitive as well. Verse chorus verse chorus, chorus chorus until end. But at least each line of the verse/chorus usually has more variation than the 2 or 3 notes that comprise this song.

That is my amateur opinion. I would like to hear your opinion as well.

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7 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Alan

    OK, I admit it, I stopped playback after 3 minutes. Although I wanted to stop it much earlier.

  • Ginny

    I had to stop it. I certainly couldn't listen to the whole thing. I couldn't articulate why I didn't like it, but your comments on it pretty much made sense to me.


  • Laura

    It reminded me of the music I played in my middle school orchestra (sans chorus). I loved playing stuff like that because of the epic feel, but we certainly played it with more fervor than this performance had. My biggest complaint is with the performance... it just seemed choppy -- almost synthesized.

    Overall, I give it a thumbs down, unless the intent was for it be simplistic enough to be playable by middle schoolers. While I agree that it could work for giving an "epic" feel to trailers and the like, there is *much* better epic music out there.

  • JunkMale

    At first, Harmony thought that it was an amateur piece. Believe it or not, this was in a movie soundtrack.

    Aside from about two places where I think it sounds cool, I cannot get over the maddeningly repetitive nature of this song. The violins mostly play the same two notes over and over again. The arpeggio thingy is largely unchanged. Neither can I figure out why almost everybody on the internet (or at least everybody on YouTube) seems to adore this song so much.

    Of course, maybe the composer intended for the piece to be droning and maddening. I believe the movie itself was about drug use or whatever. I won't ever watch it, so who knows.

  • Headmistress, zookeeper

    I am not particularly discerning in music (as my daughters will tell you), but your comments made me think of the scene in the movie Mr. Holland's Opus where Mr. Holland, the music teacher, puts on a Rolling Stones record for his class and says, "These guys... They can't sing, and they have absolutely no harmonics and they are playing the same three chords over and over again. And I love it.... Why?"

    His answer is basically because it's fun.

    I do kind of like this. But I tend to like symmetry, in music and in art. I like repeating patterns that spiral in and out of complexity.

  • Sherry

    I actually liked it, in a funny sort of way. It sounded very dramatic, but it was extremely repetitive. I could see small bits of it in movies where it would have a place, but not as a whole to listen to. 6 and 1/2 minutes was way too long (I listened to phone messages after awhile-we had 6 & I got through them all before the music was over).

  • Anne Marie@Married to the Empire

    I think it starts off beautifully, with a lovely, mournful sound. But then... it's so repetitive as to be uninspired. I don't hate it, but I certainly have no love for it.