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Music: How to complement the mood with the right genre

It happens all the time. You’re having a casual night with friends, sipping on a pint and enjoying good conversation when one of your brilliant guests decides that blasting “Levels,” by Avicii is a good soundtrack to your Sunday night.

There are two things wrong here. For one, “Levels” is an awful piece of music. Secondly, it’s just not in good taste to play a party rocking electronic anthem when everyone is relaxing on the couch. So please, spare your hosts the pain and don’t cut off a track midway just because you want to hear “Levels.” Remember, you’re the guest after all.

On that note, here are some reference points so that you can ensure you’re not meddling with the atmosphere of the social setting you’ve found yourself in.

Electronic Dance Music

This genre is usually characterized by overzealous levels of intoxication, “fist bumping with your bros,” and copious amounts of bass.

Yes, this spans a wide array of attitude and emotion and we can argue semantics for days on end, but for the most part you’re probably not going to be taking a journey to planet bass on a Tuesday night, unless, of course, that’s your thing. In that case, please keep it to the confines of your room or headphones.


Again, this is a loaded generalization of music, but for the most part it seems to be fitting for many different situations. And seriously, who doesn’t like rock music? From lounging in the living room to The Shins or getting rowdy at the bar with the White Stripes, rock is always a good choice.

Hip-hop / Rap

This genre is usually (extra emphasis on usually) characterized by songs about “the hood,” “getting money,” and/or well-endowed women. But there is also a lot of hip-hop that has socioeconomic criticisms and that’s where the money is (no pun intended). Just make sure you’re not bumping Waka Flocka at a Thanksgiving gathering. @@

Top 40 pop

Be careful what you wish for. This isn’t to bash your taste in any way, but it’s imperative that you understand  there are other music fans out there who will be extremely frustrated. Just know that you may (will) be judged. This genre is usually associated with Friday nights at Taylor’s where you pretend to like the music being played.

‘90s throwback jams

Choose wisely. Assess the situation, the environment and the audience, then select the right nostalgia-inducing jam from the past.

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