I have listened to Jedward’s latest album, Young Love, more times than I can count. 
                    
I am not, I should clarify, somehow listening to Jedward ironically. Nor are Jedward a “guilty pleasure”. To quote Tim Minchin, that would show a remarkably low threshold for both guilt and pleasure.
I genuinely love them. Because they make me happy. They are pure, unbridled joy. And yes, a lot of their songs make next to no sense but that is the point of Jedward.
Here’s the thing though. No one has the right to judge me for that, just as I have no right to judge you for not liking mushrooms. I am allowed to like Jedward. And you are not allowed to tell me that is silly.
Music is such a subjective thing. It is almost impossible (if not actually impossible) to find someone who shares your entire taste in music. You might agree on the merits of a specific sub-branch of indie pop and then violently disagree about which Beatles album is the best. And even though you’ve got the former in common you are still going to have an argument about the latter. For some reason music has the incredible ability to divide us. Friends look down on each other’s record collections. They scoff at their choice of party backing track. Lots of the time we just agree to disagree and then never speak of it again.
I’m not really in the habit of talking to people about music. There’s a lot of reasons for this. There’s not a lot of people, for example, who want to talk at length about the difference in music style between ‘Live at the Sugar Club’ and ‘Live at Vicar Street’. There are lots of people who don’t even know those albums because they are both by Dead Cat Bounce and lots of people don’t care about Dead Cat Bounce.
I guess I’ve never been very good at liking the “right” things.
For a long time that meant I was almost ashamed of the contents of my iPod. The eclectic selection meant that almost anyone could find something they found distasteful.
But then I realised something. I don’t care. I like talking to people about music. I like listening to whatever my boyfriend is listening to (and that could, let’s be honest, be pretty much anything). I like listening to my brother rave about The Presets even though their music sometimes gives me headaches. I like going to trendy record fairs even though sometimes I just buy Supertramp albums. And the man behind the counter will judge me. Because he likes obscure punk music and my favourite album is Breakfast in America.
There’s a lot of evidence to suggest music is actually really important to the way we work. It helps us regulate our mood. If you’re having an awful day, you can make yourself feel better simply by playing a CD. You can trick yourself into studying better, exercising harder, doing the dishes with less complaint. Music has this amazing ability to get inside our brains and point them in different directions.
And that’s just it. You can’t tell someone what makes them happy. You can’t tell them that their favourite album shouldn’t be their favourite album. You can’t say “Well that’s okay I guess but this is better.” It isn’t about better. It’s about the keys that fit into our brain. And mine are different to yours.
So I’ve decided something. I’m not going to apologise for my taste in music. And neither should you.
I have created a Spotify playlist to accompany this post. Please feel free to add to it. It is a judgement free place to share songs. At the moment the playlist only features three songs and one of them is the Jedward mash-up of ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘Ice Ice Baby’. See? Not judging you.

Find it by searching Adventures in TV-Land on Spotify or click here.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year