I read recently that we humans do not acquire a taste for new music much after our younger years – the type of music we love and appreciate as we grow up with our peer group is likely to be the type of music we spend the rest of our lives enjoying. That analysis honestly strikes me as little more than a columnist looking for something to write – the research behind such facts is highly suspect! Anecdotally, perhaps it will hold for most readers, and it would explain why all of us last night at a lovely and intimate rooftop deck Fourth of July soiree, mostly in our late thirties to mid forties, were pleased by the sounds of the 80s coming from my friend’s playlist. But the 20th century revolutionized everything about the way humanity consumes music, so making broad statements about humanity and musical taste seems a bit of an overreach to me!
Whether we can make broad statements about musical taste or not, as we were saying goodbyes and cleaning up last night the song “The Promise,” by the 80s group When in Rome began playing from my friend’s outdoor speakers, and every one of us perked up. The band definitely fits the “one hit wonder” bill – my internet digging into the group this morning didn’t return much except various struggles over the name of the group. One of the founding members was a beat poet, Wikipedia notes.
As I thought about the group last night, I thought “New Wave” and then I realized I didn’t know what that really means. Indeed, as I looked online this morning I found that When in Rome’s Wikipedia entry identifies them as a “New Wave” band. If asked to come up with my own definition of New Wave, mine would have had something to do with the 80s and some sort of British influence. But when I looked up New Wave on Wikipedia just now, it seems that the only part of my definition that’s basically accepted is the 80s bit (and it really started in the 70s and I’m sure some folks would argue early 90s). Apparently Rolling Stone’s musical encyclopedia declares the term “New Wave” to be “virtually meaningless.”
Whatever labels you want to apply to When in Rome and their hit, “The Promise,” my bet is you enjoy this old tune whenever it comes your way just as much as I do:
Thanks for reading.