2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life


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Song lyrics are getting more repetitive (and crappier)

That’s official! A Canadian scientist, Colin Morris, has analysed 15,000 songs dating back to 1958. From the poetry of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell to the modern pap that is churned out by the likes of Rhianna whose song Oxygen mentions America 33 times and breathe 22 times.

The most repetitive was a 1999 song by Sisqo called the Thong song and among the least was the late Chuck Berry’s 1959 song Back in the USA.

He used a compression algorithm which reduces files sizes by assigning repeated sequences a marker rather than storing the whole sequence. So a song with no repeating sequences can’t be reduced in size. On the other hand Daft Punk’s 1997 hit Around the World simply repeats the title 1,480 times and can be compressed 98%.

Songwriter Crispin Hunt blames the trend on the chart-buying public which comprises largely of 8 – 12 -year olds. The music industry focuses on this age group to get them hooked early.

It does raise the question of whether words really mean so much. When music is so repetitive and songs (?) like Get Low by Dillon Francis and DJ Snake comprise solely the words Brr  x 4 and Get low x 28 repetitions.


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Rockers like Reisling, really?

wine_glass_toast_1600_wht_3574That’s according to a study carried out by a wine company so maybe not the most unbiased source.

The study claims that the type of music you listen to directly affects your taste in wine and that drinkers sub-consciously buy wines that complement their favourite songs.

So fans of Katy Perry and Rihanna drink Sauvignon Blanc whereas those who prefer Arctic Monkeys or Motorhead (an unlikely pairing I would have thought) prefer Reisling.

If you’re a classical fan you prefer Gewurtztraminer as you listen to Beethoven or Bach.

Charles Spencer, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University says there could be some truth in this as wine and music pair well together as music changes the taste of the wine. “Heavy wines demand dark, heavy music and Sauvignon Blanc matches lighter music”  He says that the kind of music people listen to makes them pick wine with similar properties.

“When you are choosing perfume you are often asked what your favourite colour is …… as this helps to identify the which scent you  might like“. It’s even been proved that the  type of music playing in the wine shop will bias your choice and that people buy significantly more expensive wine if classical music is playing rather than the top 40 as it influences them to look for more quality.

The wine company which carried out the survey say that “Sauvignon Blanc is a very accessible wine, light and zingy, and you could say similar to pop music. When they go together the experience is better and it’s the first choice of more than half of popular music fans” . They say rock fans prefer Reisling because of its classic petrol flavours (not to be confused with anti-freeze of course) and claim that one of their sommeliers says that the opening riff for Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses sounds like Reisling.

The firm has created boxes of wine that come with Spotify playlists which include the likes of Lily Allen, Miley Cyrus, and Kylie Minogue to listen to while they drink their Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon. For those who prefer rock music 70% chose Merlot or Reisling to accompany the Stones, Nirvana, and Kings of Leon.

Gewurtztraminer is the least well known, an acquired taste, and is said to build in flavour like a classical crescendo. The wine company say that this Alsace region wine is the thinking person’s wine because it’s not so well known but has fantastic wines. The tunes to listen to as you drink this wine include The Marriage of Figaro and Air on a G String.

According to the survey hip-hop fans are the least fussy and will drink anything!

Much as I respect the work of the psychology team at Oxford University this does seem a bit pretentious. What happened to rock staples like champagne, whiskey, bourbon and beer!