College: An evolution of musical taste buds

Bobby's evolution of music

My four years at the College have caused more personal phases of musical preferences than I can count. Or can I? Let’s see.

Freshman year (Fall 2007/Spring 2008): I arrived at college with tunnel vision as far as taste in music goes. This tunnel was constructed of heavy metal, and only heavy metal, metalcore to be more precise.

My roommate can attest to the fact that, between trips to T-Dubs and Eickhoff, I was listening only to Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, 36 Crazy Fists, Bullet for My Valentine, Shadows Fall, Five Finger Death Punch, etc. That was it. This was absolutely a continuation of my high school playlist, and I had no plans of deviating from this path of screaming and abrasiveness.

Sophomore year (Fall 2008): At this point, I was still in metal mode, and the releases of “The Tide and its Takers” by 36 Crazy Fists and “Death Magnetic” by Metallica were a soundtrack to my Decker Hall experience. In all seriousness, I remember three things about Fall 2008 at the College: fighting with my girlfriend, playing Crazy Taxi and listening to those two albums.

Still sophomore year (Spring 2009): This is where things take a drastic turn for me. Spring 2009 was an extremely stressful semester, and I could not take the heavy riffs any longer. I needed a break, and thanks to Pandora.com and a January College concert, I got into a whole mess of Kings of Leon and Brand New — kind of a weird combination, I know. Both of these bands seemed to calm me down, in addition to The Killers, The Strokes, Cold War Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Muse and a few others. Again, a very weird playlist spawned from this semester, and a mix CD of these bands accompanied me each morning to my internship throughout Summer 2009.

Junior year (Fall 2009): This semester was relatively stagnant, as far as musical development goes. I often listened to Killswitch Engage’s self-titled release from summer’s end, and found solace in a few Christian metal bands: As I Lay Dying, Haste the Day, Oh, Sleeper and the like. No huge musical revelations, though.

Still junior year (Spring 2010): Two specific changes happened for me in my previous semester at the College. First, I was given very powerful computer speakers for Christmas 2009, which had me downloading every bass-driven song I could think of. Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness,” and Godsmack’s “I Stand Alone” come to mind. So, metal did return to my life last semester in a big way, mainly

Limelight

because I now had the ability to play it as loud as it is meant to be played. While all of this metal revival was happening, and as the weather got warmer, my friends and I oddly reverted back to 1990s feel-good rock/pop as well. Third Eye Blind, The Goo Goo Dolls, The Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon, Matchbox Twenty and more or less any no-name ’90s song blasted from my friends’ house through April and beyond. Remember “Barely Breathing,” by Duncan Sheik? We loved that shit.

Senior year (Fall 2010): So where does that leave me now? Well, after a flashback to Nu Metal this summer — Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Staind, etc. — I am in a hardcore/punk/screamo/indie things I never thought I would listen to phase. My most current mix CDs feature a combination of Four Year Strong, A Day to Remember, Taking Back Sunday, From Autumn to Ashes, A Static Lullaby, Of Mice and Men and Attack Attack, as well as Fun. and Jukebox the Ghost.

College has opened my ears to many, many different types of music I never thought I would give a second listen. Nowadays, I listen to anything that makes me remember the constant impact music has on my life, and that great music is still being made every day. I used to care about the image I was projecting by my musical preferences. I don’t anymore. Thanks college.