Do You Find Your Music Tastes Mellowing With Age?

I’m 50 and although I doubt many people would consider my taste “mellow” unless all the listen to is Slayer and death metal, I have to say I’m starting to listen to songs I used to like a lot before I got into heavy metal, back when I was 12 or 13.

The 2 bands I’ve really been listening to a lot have been Journey and Foreigner, The lead guitarist of Journey, Neal Schon is a great guitarist!!! In fact he’s so respected by metal guitarists that he was invited to, and accepted, a spot in the guitar solo to “Stars” which was heavy metal’s answer to “We Are The World.”


“Majestic” is one of my all time favorites!

Scone, Shawn, Shown??? I still don’t how to pronounce his last name;)

For sure,
I no longer relate to welcome home sanatarium etc.

I think that’s a good thing though.


What a great Question!

Me personally - I’m the same age as you, and my music hasn’t mellowed as such - but widened - I still love all the stuff from my younger years and now a whole lot more - Classical, Metal, Thrash, Pop, Gabba, Jungle, Trance, Glitch, SpeedBass, Doom, Grind, Grunge, Goth, some Jazz, Grime, DnB e.t.c. it’s endless really - my mate runs a record store (vinyl only :slight_smile: ) so I get to pick up tons of really obscure stuff that no one wants to buy :slight_smile:

I still do not like C&W or Garage for some reason, It doesn’t look like I ever will - no idea why tho!

The single biggest thing I’ve noticed is - due to age and dampening of the higher frequencies, I now like Black Sabbath - for some reason at a younger age I couldn’t stand the distortion they used it sounded like a buzzy mess and no razor sharp pick definition, now I love it and appreciate it fully - along with all the bands that have similar sounds (many)!

P.S. I had the hear’n’aid record 12" when it came out - that massive endless solo - I could never figure out who was playing what on it - which part is malmsteen e.t.c. - hahahah

I love that! What a great quote from you! And yeah, I don’t relate to it anymore either. Regarding that, I’m glad for both you and me!

It’s one of those two. I think it is pronounced shown, although it may be pronounced shawn…

He is to my ears, the best half-way point in between Dave Gilmour and the heavy metal guitar gods. He has an amazing sense of melody and comes up with sone solos that are just incredibly melodic and are much like compositions within the composition. That’s the Gilmour side of him. However, he can still rip. He can play flashy when he needs to, he can pick fast, but he never overdoes it. He has a great sense of restraint. If you want to hear him play a Journey song that’s more hard rock than most of their stuff, listen to this - I love to!

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I am 30 and no mellowing yet. If anything, i appreciate extreme stuff in a different way now.

I was never into the most br00tl music ever and do not enjoy listening to braindrills like strawinsky or 20mins freejazz impros.
But i always considered myself to be an extreme metal fan first and foremost. However, in hindsign there was a much higher power- and heavy metal ratio in my playlist than my fragile teenage ego would have liked to admid. I still enjoy occasionally listening to some blind guardian or stratovarius, but in general thats not my cup of tea anymore, especially with the new super-easy-listening-epic-chorus-stuff the genre produces nowadays (but that could just be the metal-elitist in me speaking, couldnt leave him behind completly yet).

On second thought, more “rockish” thrash metal like overkill has gained some ground compared to black and death. I am also going through a massive toxic holocaust fanboy-phase. I am ok with that kind of aging.

Edit: I also broadened my horizon in an unuspected way, lately: Found out there is actually a small niche in my live where psytrance-music has a place. This came as a surprise because i was always 100% unimpressed by anything electronic, no matter the surrounding or the chemical support. Nowadays, if i could take 100 records to an island, i might put a trance record on the list. Expl:

If anything I find it keeps getting more aggressive. The deeper I go into weightlifting the more I need that extra boost.

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Put simply, I think having varied (or at least contrasting) tastes is a great thing - the more mellow stuff I listen too, the more I appreciate heavier styles (and vice versa).

I have always had a range of music that I enjoy, but definitely mellowed out as tine went on (I’m only 35). The only thing that I struggle with more than I used to is screaming vocals. Small instances within a song is fine, but I switch off at about 9.26 seconds of constant screaming shite (with exception of maybe one or two vocalists).

That’s pretty interesting.
I think about some of my favorite solos from the 80s metal guys that contained a great balance of slow build of beautiful melody that finally ends in a fast run and a bend from hell.

That contrast is super important to me and we listen to it even in the context of a single song so it only makes sense that we would be attracted to different styles.

Having a hard time articulating my point so If I’m off topic or confusing.

Your welcome

Its a well known correlation: The bigger your biceps grows, the mightier you inner Manowarrior will become.


I’m even listening to Bruce Springsteen right now - the “Born To Run” album. What great lyrics and melodies. I wonder, what is the closest thing that the current generation of people from 15 to 25 have to being their generation’s equivalent of Bruce Springsteen? Someone who sings about living in The USA, what it’s like growing up in small towns but maybe with big dreams.

“Kids flash guitars just like switch-blades hustling for the record machine.”

I especially like this line just for how descriptive and poetic it is:

“Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain.”

Very different musically from The Boss of course, but I mentioned Kendrick Lamar in another topic as a favorite of mine, and I think he fits the bill as far as excellent lyricism and capturing the dreams and struggles of many of his generation. His last album was both incredibly popular and musically outstanding, even winning a Pulitzer.

Frank Ocean also comes to mind as both a strong singer and great songwriter, very soulful music. For a slightly younger generation, maybe Billie Eilish? Lorde is another great (+ popular) singer/songwriter too, though not based in America. Not sure who else in that younger age range.

A couple that are slightly older but somewhat along these lines…Sufjan Stevens (he even made a couple albums specifically themed on US states) and maybe Bon Iver?

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Over time I have extended the range of music that I listen to, so yes, I listen to much more mellow stuff, but I also listen to more extreme stuff. I’m not sure where my center of mass is, and if that’s moved. To give an example of two recent songs that I bought,

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One thing I’ve noticed is that as you get older, the stress starts to pile on. And sometimes relaxing ‘chill’ music is just what the doctor ordered for calming down the nerves. But sometimes you need the opposite… something fast and hard to lift up your spirits. So overall, music is great at helping with your mood.

I still listen to the heavier guitar work type music, 70’s Scorpions with UJR, Rainbow,anything with Yngwie, but I’ll back off to basic heavy metal like Judas priest and Twisted Sister. Classic Rock sometimes, i dont go after Led Zeppelin as much as I used to, but when I hear it, I can appreciate it. I got into metalica back when they came out , but at some point they went too commercial, somewhere around Load/reload, i stopped listening, probably because I bought those albums and was disappointed. Country music absolutely not, not “Modern Country” anyway, I cant take the violins and pedal steels sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

Yes and no. I’m 38, grew up on the Stones, Jimi, Joplin, and a lot of 70s outlaw country, got into Nirvana and alternative rock in high school, picked up the guitar, and slowly made my way to metal via prog metal.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of acoustic stuff - Gregory Alan Isakov, the Punch Brothers (no one should be as good at anything as Chris Thile is at mandolin), Ryan Adams, Woods End, Damien Rice.

At the same time, when I’m in a heavier mood it’s often stuff like Devildriver, Soilwork, Meshuggah, Opeth, etc, stuff that me in my 20s wouldn’t have been able to get my head around.

I think as I’ve gotten older I just increasingly listen to whatever the fuck I want to, regardless of how it fits into some genre or other. Stuff like Spotify and Pandora have been helpful in turning me on to new music, whereas in the past a lot of the music I was introduced to was word of mouth, rock radio, or openers, so I’m casting a wider net, I guess.

I was listening to Yngwies first solo album , Rising Force on the way into work this morning. I remember playing it when it came out , I was like 14 or something. We used to play cassettes in boom boxes back before the 'Personal " style Walkmans. People who werent guitar players didnt get it, they were like “theres no lyrics” etc. Anyway I guess Im still drawn in by it after all these years, its still relevant, and Yngwie was like 21…or 22. Still mind blowing.

A tad late but I recently followed NS on Instagram and he seems like a showboating douche bag. Big cars and polls about who’s a better guitarist. Yuk. Doesn’t detract from his awesomeness but sometimes the people you admire are just assholes.

no one should be as good at anything as Chris Thile is at mandolin

Yeah, Chris Thile is the definition of “not normal.” There’s a case to be made that he brings string/plectrum instruments to another level of precision that’s never been tried before, like a Horowitz did on piano. It’s great that he ended up doing Live From Here, too. In his late 30’s, an age where some players can get soft, he’s playing some of his hardest music ever, in every possible style, working with people in every other possible style, every week–and still cutting albums and touring at the same time. A couple months back on the show he played a movement from a Barber violin concerto with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and burned it down. His solo and Punch Brothers work can be hit and miss–the last PB album sends especially undercooked to me–but in terms of the overall swath he’s cut across music, there are very few examples you could name on that level.

He’s a pretty clear-cut example of someone where, if you haven’t let your musical tastes mellow out enough to appreciate acoustic music yet, it’s probably worth your time to give it a shot.