Being the great new-dad that I am, lacking the mental capacity to try anything except loud music to make my kid stop crying, I've discovered some distinct patterns in the child's musical preference--and by preference, I mean, the songs which didn't spur a hailstorm of screams. Some picks I found surprising, but I think I was more shocked by the artists he gave the tear-treatment. Some notes thus far (and thanks to my son, Duke, for "agreeing" to take part in this study):
Not my child, but food for thought: does he either a. love what he hears, b. hate it and can't believe his folks made him listen to it, or c. feel bad that he just fudged his Huggies
Tracy Chapman and friends
The Tracy Chapman Pandora station has been the greatest success so far. Duke has loved everything from Chapman's cool-voiced catalogue, as well as the Ray Lamontagne, Fleetwood Mac, David Gray and Sarah McLachlan that the site has paired her with.
I can't remember exactly which song came on (maybe because my ears were filled with screaming), but some slick Aretha song came on when we were over at a friend's house and calmed him right down. He didn't even complain when I led him through some of the most recent dance moves on the counter top for our amusement.
Those calm Brazilian melodies would calm anybody down. A special nod here to Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Charlie Bird.
The stereotypical "soothing" artist failed me here. The thing about Enya's music is that it can be calming, sure, but it can also be kind of intense.
This came as a surprise to me, but Sade made him fuss right up. I'll keep trying though, don't worry Sade.
Stay tuned for more reports from the field!