Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What is Emo Music?

Did Rachel just call The Shins Emo?

In a response to an earlier post, she wrote,

Left and Leaving - The Weakerthans
Past and Pending - The Shins

Mmm, symmetrical emo.

Which leads to the question, what is the definition of emo music. According to about.com,

These days, the term emo is used to describe any band playing guitar-based music that is emotional either in approach, lyrical focus or affect.


Today, "emo" can describe almost anything emotional.

So how can a genre that can describe anything as eliciting emotion be a genre at all? A genre, as the dictionary defines it, is

A category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, marked by a distinctive style, form, or content

And for reference, a wikionary definition of emo.


  1. All I know is that picture is emo.

    Emo is more of subset of society like Hipsters, Yuppies, or Mods. In Mexico, they beat up emo kids. Emo kids also happen to like The Shins.

  2. Music that makes me feel emo is emo music.

    The Shins make me feel emo.

    Therefore, The Shins is emo music.

    Philosophy 101.

  3. Well Emo-Rachel, then you must also remember from Critical Thinking that just because it's logical doesn't mean it's true.

    Bam! I'll agree with your premise that it may make you feel emo, but disagree with your conclusion.

    Counter Argument:

    Music that makes me feel emo is emo music.

    The Righteous Brothers make me feel emo.
    Therefore the righteous brothers is emo music?

  4. The Righteous Brothers are original Emo. A couple of white guys singing like black guys about your "lovin feeling"

  5. Therefore the righteous brothers is emo music?