Planning one's road trip playlist in the 21st century is not as easy as it once was. In the 80s, there were mixtapes on cassettes. Compact discs and bulging CD wallets prevailed in the 90s and early 2000s. A weird throwback came thereafter, when we started to plug iPods into those cassette auxiliary adapters.
Sure, when limited to physical formats of music, one had to put up with whatever was around in the car, even if you'd already played it a million times. And currently, it's not even necessary to pre-download music. If you have data, you can access practically all music ever recorded through streaming services.
However, not everything out there works as music on the go. Classical is lovely at home in a quiet room. On the highway or on the subway, it's vexing. Big changes in dynamics can't be fully appreciated over vehicular noise, even with noise cancelling headphones on. The same can be said for jazz. Depending on which branch or era of it you listen to, the top line of songs may meander a lot. We don't get the same mental reward of a melody with firm boundaries, or a chorus that strikes back again and again.
For that reward, we need to sit ourselves down with pop, electronic, soul, country, blues, and dare I say it, rock. Gene Simmons from Kiss insists that rock is dead. Nevertheless, we can hear the recipe for rock's success in the Estonian band Smilers, starting with their 2021 song “Tee mis sa tahad.”
(Read more: Estonian Life No. 7 2022 paber- and PDF/digi)
Written by Vincent Teetsov
DIGITAL Estonian Life No. 33 - August 19, 2022