The music challenge continued

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One day at our teen staff meeting, everyone talked about the music they had been listening to lately. We all had such different tastes, we decided to challenge ourselves to try some music that we usually avoid. Here are the results:

"Banshee with Cuss Words"

Moral Decay
Reviewed by Valentina Cardenas, 16, Ramona Convent

As a dedicated fan of Sugar Ray and Cristian Castro, the punk band Moral Decay would never have found its way into my car. When I put the mysterious CD on, I didn’t know what to expect. At first I started to bob my head slightly. But when the screaming banshee "singing" started, I wondered, "Is this English?" The "singer" rambled for about three minutes. I was brave and listened to all six songs. All I understood was the frequent cuss words. The song titles like "Wide Awake" did not really aid in figuring out what the song was trying to say.

I thought maybe it was just me and Moral Decay wasn’t all that bad. However, when I played it for my sister Veronica, her first words were "What is this demonic music you have! Get it out!" A friend of mine said, "This isn’t music… that’s terrible." So, I tried this music challenge, and to be honest, Moral Decay was awesome… when the demonic man was not screaming out rude lyrics. I think they should make a CD with just their music, and NOTHING more. Although I did not particularly enjoy this new selection, the experience was new and fun to me. If I were to be challenged in the future, I would definitely accept.

"Sweet and romantic—yuck"

Cristian Castro
Reviewed by Ray Tenorio, 18

Cristian Castro. This CD is about love and the ways people go about it. Play this CD when you want to set the mood in the right way—it just might help you win the heart of that special guy or girl. Many of the songs are in Spanish, and the orchestra backs the singer up with salsa, merengue and other Latin sounds. But if you’re not a romantic or don’t like Latin music, don’t go anywhere near this CD. Unfortunately, I had to. I really don’t like Spanish music because it doesn’t suit my taste for loud, violent, in-your-face punk rock. I’d rather be listening to Rammstein, Korn, Flogging Molly, Insane Clown Posse, H.I.M. or the Misfits.

"Not as Bad as I Thought"
Britney and Hilary
Reviewed by Embarrassed Author
(see fine print below for real name)

I am not into pop but when I heard the Britney Spears song "Toxic," it caught my attention. I heard the beginning of the song, the violin screeching and the beat going quickly. It made me want to get up and dance. I am usually an anti-Britney type of girl. I used to wear a shirt that said: "Egging little Miss Pop Princess. Priceless."

I borrowed the single from my sister and listened to it about 10 times a day, not dancing at first because I was afraid somebody would catch me. But then I was like, "What the heck! I can dance if I want to." Everybody I knew, rockers or hip-hoppers, had to admit that the song was catchy.

I also listened to Metamorphosis, the debut album of Hilary Duff, a girl that I loathed for no apparent reason. My friend would play her all the time and I would throw stuff at her, like my slipper. Once I took the time to listen to it, I had the surprise of a lifetime: I liked it. Only two songs but it still counts. In her song "So Yesterday" I could actually relate to what she is singing about. Like having an ex-boyfriend who cannot get over himself. I liked the thought of singing to my ex-boyfriend that I am so over him. The beat didn’t catch my attention because it was too much of an early Britney Spears type of melody. "Come Clean" is another good song. I liked it because of its soft beat. It helped me go to sleep.

This experience helped me see that rock is way better, but sometimes the worst musicians can come out with a good or meaningful song once in a while. So give them a chance.

(Written by Karina Onofre, 15, who is still a true fan of punk and ska.)

"Boring mom music"

Bonnie Raitt
Reviewed by Rachel Lizotte, 14, John Burroughs HS

Recently, I listened to Bonnie Raitt‘s Road Tested (mom music) for the Music Challenge. While driving to Costco, I had my mom pop the CD into the CD player, and was met with a horrible sound. You see, I am a dedicated Josie and the Pussycats and Jet fan. (Strange mix, I know.) Listening to this so-called "artist" almost made me cry with how boring the music was. You couldn’t even enjoy it with your eyes closed, and you couldn’t find a beat. But I made sure that my mom didn’t skip to the songs she liked because I was determined to give an honest review. So, for 10 long, horrible country-rock songs, I listened intently.

God, I wanted to die on the spot. Just slip into a coma, and never wake up until all traces of Bonnie Raitt had vanished from the world (which will probably be never)! I fought the urge to throw the CD out the window, which would have most likely pissed off my mom, and she would have burned one of my favorite CDs. I toughed it out through the whole CD and then I realized, "It can’t harm me anymore. It’s over."