Why do people listen to the music they listen to?
That's mainly what this blog is about. I'm generalizing of course and there's always exceptions here and there, but this is my opinion.
I'd say if you take 90% (or often even 100%) of the music a person likes and listens to, the main thing that dictates what they like is determined by the reality that they either live in, want to live in, or strongly appreciate.
If a person loves to go dancing at clubs, drinking liquor and partying in metropolitan areas, they'll be much more likely to like someone like Lady Gaga than Nickelback. If people grow up in a ghetto black neighborhood, they'll prefer gangsta rap over Shania Twain. It's because they relate to their music, and they understand it.
When a person doesn't like music, like say country, he probably doesn't like the environment of country music (southern U.S., white republican America, etc.). Or if a person likes a genre of music, but doesn't like a certain artist in that genre, perhaps it's because to them, the artist does a poor job of representing that environment.
But this doesn't just go with a person's environment, but like I said, their entire reality. Their perspective, the way they see the world, their opinions, their experiences, etc. People like break up songs the most when they're going through a break up and can relate.
Also, musicians are more likely (but no exclusively) to like music with high technical skills. More often I meet people who listen to Liszt or Alkan who play an instrument than don't. Or if a person doesn't play a musical instrument, but still enjoys Liszt's etudes or something, as I said earlier, he strongly appreciates and admires virtuosity. This doesn't have to be just with technical skill, but it can be composition, production, etc.
So I don't agree with criticism of music based on things like lacking technical skill, or compositional complexity, or even poor music production. A piece of music doesn't have to be technically advanced or compositionally complex in order to accurately represent a reality or perspective a person might have. When a person criticizes music because of its composition, technical requirements, or they just say they don't like it, it's ultimately saying "this music does not match the way I perceive (or want to perceive) the world."