One of life's simple pleasures is reading something I identify with completely, written in a way that is as good or better than I might have expressed it myself.
Here is one of those stories.
And here, for those who don't feel like following the link, is a great excerpt:
Earworms breed in all kinds of musical environments—the gangrenous wound of a Coldplay chorus, the festering pit of a cellphone ring-tone—but the most fertile breeding ground, by far, is children's music. The genre is an earworm hatchery, the
aural equivalent of an overstuffed Dumpster baking in the August sun. Its grubs are uniquely robust and brain-thirsty: Kids' music is all hook, cutesy melodies pared to the most efficient possible sequence of notes and repeated until the recording studio runs out of tape. It's like a reverse parody of atonal jazz: Instead of denying us the pleasure of melody, kids' music heaps it on so heavily that our desire for it disappears, and melody disintegrates into pure pleasureless noise.
I know this because my daughter requires a constant stream of children's music to fuel her epic, mesmerizing dance-marathons. I've been listening to her music intensively now for almost two years—which makes it, sadly and easily, my most intense engagement with any music since high school.
Though our library of kids' albums is small—a handful of discs inflicted on us at baby showers—I have involuntarily memorized every note. I've listened to these albums so many times they've lost their status as music and become a kind of continuous and ecstatic holy mantra. Instead of criticizing, I just bask irrationally in the soul-cleansing repetition. My musical standards have eroded completely. I know it's just some kind of sensory trick, like submerging your hands in freezing water until it feels like they're burning, but I have started to love it. Even with adult friends around, I sing passionate a-cappella soul renditions of songs I once reviled.
I cannot believe I have not yet purchased this kids' album.