Admitting you listen to emo is pretty hard and there's a good reason for that. Most of the time people don't realize that there are two different kinds of emo you can listen to at any given moment in your life. There's Old Guy Emo and Young Guy Emo. They are almost two different kinds of music, it's kind of ridiculous to think about. Below are examples of both kinds of emo, why they're different, and why you'd be listening to each type.
Disclaimer: Both of these songs are pretty sad, so if you're in an alright mood maybe you shouldn't listen to them.
[Illustrations above by Rob Dobi]
Old Guy Emo: Owen -- Bad News
Mike Kinsella's band Owen and the song Bad News is basically the definition of Old Guy Emo music. It's introspective and raw. It's almost like a letter to himself, it has the kind of honesty that you can only get with age. And not normal, hey I'm getting older aging. More like the, "oh man I'm going through a lot of stuff that's making me realize that I'm probably not a good person so I'll have to write a song about it or else these thoughts and feelings will stay in my head and I'm so tired of feeling alone in a crowd of people, oh god, what is happening to me" kind of aging.
"Whatever it is you think you are, you aren't: A good friend, unique, well-read, good-looking, or smart. Well now you know."
The thing that makes Old Guy Emo music different than Young Guy Emo is the focus on self-reflection. Looking inside yourself and realizing, well, you're a pile of garbage, man. And maybe it'll get better.
Other topics include: the death of friends, the existence of God, and feeling stagnant.
Young Guy Emo: Taking Back Sunday -- Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)
Young Guy Emo seems to be the kind of music everyone thinks about when they hear someone say they listen to emo music. That's okay. And it's okay because honestly, if you're an old emo dude like myself, you probably listened to this song and watched the video so many times you memorized it. It's obviously just about a relationship that went bad and that's kind of what all Young Guy Emo is about. It's about the moment and how everything hurts when you're young. Remember when you asked Jessica out on a date and she said yes but then she brought one of her best guy friends and you thought to yourself, oh man, I wish it was just me and her because I'm feeling like the third wheel all of a sudden and wait, are they kissing why is this happening to me, not again, oh god not again. That's kind of what makes Young Guy Emo so unappealing to anyone over the age of 25.
Why can't I feel anything from anyone other than you? Why can't I feel anything from anyone other than you? And all of this was all your fault.
Young Guy Emo is all about feeling your feelings, man. And as you get older and move into the Old Guy Emo stage, you realize feeling things for other people is unimportant and a giant waste of time.
Other Topics include: High school, that one time you almost, and seriously just almost, kissed the cute girl you know, and going to New York City that one time.