Jewelry for the empowered

My Nostalgic Playlist and the Science Behind Music Tastes

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My Nostalgic Playlist (I love metal)

Recently I was inspired to make a playlist of nostalgic music. The raw, rough, rebellious music of my youth. That is, metal and industrial music from the 1990’s and 2000’s. I have a long list of favorites from that era, but I also asked my followers on Facebook to contribute in case there’s something awesome that I missed, and indeed there were a few gems mentioned that I added, notably tracks by The Foreshadowing, and The Birthday Massacre. 

All the loud, angry intensity really gives me a warm fuzzy feeling :) I’ve been listening to it on repeat, and shared it with friends who are also enjoying it. If that sounds like your cup of tea check it out on Spotify.

Click here to Listen Now 

There were a few bands from that era that I didn’t add to the playlist because they are now considered embarrassingly bad (I’m looking at you, Limp Bizkit). It was also a little shocking to learn that when the new Tool album debuted over the summer, and topped the Billboard charts, many responded with “Who’s Tool?”

Crying face emoji.

Some have even started referring to the metal of the 90’s and 2000’s as “Dad Metal”. Just bury me in my JNCO jeans when they start calling it “Grandpa Metal” 


The Science Part

That nostalgia, those warm fuzzy feelings, that we have for music we listened to in our youth is certainly powerful. Research has found that our music tastes during our teens are likely to follow us through life. A New York Times Analysis of Spotify data found that many people still regularly stream music that was released when they were in their early teens (13 and 14). Some research has shown that people are less likely to try new music after age 30. However, other scientists contradict this, saying that our musical tastes do change as we move through life’s phases, and it tends to become more mellow in middle age, and then more sophisticated in later life stages, reflecting a need to display status later in life, as opposed to the raw and intense music favored by youth in the identity building stage of life. 

My experience is more in line with the latter research. My tastes have mellowed with age, and I like mid tempo electronic or latin guitar from time to time, but I also still love the harder music from my teens and 20’s. I’m 37 and I still like trying new music (contrary to some research), so I can’t wait to see how my playlists evolve in the next decades. What’s even cooler is that streaming services can keep data on what you play and when (have you tried the year in review feature in Spotify?) so there will be a digital footprint on my musical activity available that wasn’t in the age of CD’s. 

I could write an entire blog entry on my own take on why we like what we like and when, but I’m more interested to hear what you think! 

Comment below and tell me about your experience. Do you still enjoy the music of your teens? How have your musical tastes evolved over time? Do you like to try new music?? 


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