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Prioritize the album before the playlist
January 12, 2023
I am one of those people who is constantly listening to music. Whether that is in the hallways of school, driving, or time spent in my room, something is always playing.
Because of this, it surprises most people when I tell them I have never made a playlist. In my opinion, listening to albums in their entirety is a better way to absorb music.
I know this is a hot take, many people have fun curating different playlists for a variety of moods, various times of day, or by genre. Even some just let auto play take over, but I’ve never enjoyed listening to music in these ways.
Albums are the way the artist, whoever that may be, intended for you to listen to their work. Often each song will form a story or a continuation of some reoccurring theme. There is something special about it, and you can form a deeper connection to the music and lyrics. Each album also presents a certain sound or style, and I think there is something interesting about how cohesive albums can be.
Listening to albums has also almost forced me to expand my taste in music and appreciate songs that are not typically to my taste. Instead of just enjoying a few popularized songs off each track list, I haveformed a love for the less streamed ones too.
For example, Mac Miller is one of my favorite artists. On my Apple Music Replay for this year, I spent over 20,000 minutes listening to his discography. Due to my extensive listening, I have been able to formulate a better opinion of him as an artist.
Watching Movies with the Sound Off, his second official studio album, has become one of my favorite listens. His most popular song off the track list is “Objects in the Mirror” with over 81 million streams, and his least streamed song is “Claymation” with a little over 6 million streams. Both songs are heavily rotated through my listening, so it makes me feel like as if I appreciate him more as an artist.
I spent 120,000 minutes, about 2 and a half months, listening to other artists from many different genres-my top three were experimental rap, alternative, and indie pop. Listening to albums has given me the opportunity to appreciate all types of music, while continuing to grow the albums I circulate
My advice for those who are currently playlist listeners, is invest in a good CD rotation for your car and try listening to an album from start to finish more than once, because in my experience you will grow to appreciate the artist more.