Wondering what are things that exist within a piece of recorded music that you find grinds your gears or
could even possibly cause you to stop listening to it?
For me, it’s got to be infants/babies talking into the microphone. I get that it can be cute and the parents (often the artist) are very proud but a lot of the time it really puts me off just hearing a toddler babbling away on the microphone.
I also have a friend who absolutely can’t stand woodwind - namely the flute, sorry James Galway.
Skits. Even if they are funny the first time you hear them, they get tiresome after a few plays. It’s especially grating when they are part of a track I do want to hear, meaning I can’t easily skip them.
So to (mostly) rappers: You’re not comedians, I don’t want to hear your voicemail messages, your peers rating you or boring exposition about your supervillain persona. If you’ve got something to say, put it in the tracks themselves or in the liner notes / on Genius.com. Give me bars and beats and leave the rest on the studio floor.
It used to be faded outros for me; It felt like they were everywhere for a while.
Now that I don’t hear it as much, it’s less grating.
I was watching one of those “x reviews y” videos, and when they mentioned the track’s fading, I thought, “oh, right, I very much made railing against this mixing/editing choice a part of my personality in high school” lol.
Digital “stuttering” absolutely drives me up the wall.
The band Nu Shooz is from my local area, and I remember when their hit “I Can’t Wait” was hot on local radio, and it was great. When they signed with a label and it was released as a single, they added all sorts of garbage to the beginning of it, most of which I disliked, but in particular I hated the (what I call) digital stutters. Made me feel like I was tripping over something.
They made their original, self-released EP, “Tha’s Right,” available for download, which has the original, unadulterated track that was played on local radio, dubbed “I Can’t Wait (American Mix).” That’s the one I play now.
Paula Abdul’s EP, “Shut Up and Dance,” did the same thing to several of her big hits. I eventually dumped the disc, because I couldn’t stand listening to it.
Along with skits, lengthy film dialogue that’s baked into the music tracks. See e.g. the Out of Sight soundtrack which seems like it should technically be titled Out of Sight: Music From the Motion Picture, based on the cover art. Pulp Fiction: Music From the Motion Picture is one of the few cases I can think of where this didn’t really bother me.
And relatedly, tracks that include minutes of silence at the end to separate “hidden” material. Hopefully this practice has mostly died off in online releases, though.
Melisma / vocal runs. My mom used to call it “vocal gymnastics.”
It makes it nearly impossible to follow the melody of the song when the singer is bouncing around the staff trying to show off. In some cases it’s been called disrespectful, particularly in the context of the National Anthem.