Album-style listening

So, as you might know/might have figured out, I am a person who does a lot of music listening and/or exploration. I might as well call it my hobby, because I don’t have another hobby. Especially not one that you would go to Hobby Lobby for, but that’s completely beside the point.  My music infatuation/obsession has escalated to new heights during the summer (likely due to the amount of free time I have and the people I hang out/work with), and I have been discovering/loving more music than ever before.

During this period of intense music-loving, I have realized that I have been listening to music the wrong way my whole life. Now, don’t criticize the fact that I am claiming that there exists a right way and a wrong way to listen to music. Before I expand on the right and wrong way to listen to music, just know that it is absolutely okay to listen to music the wrong way. I still do it every once in a while, and it is very enjoyable. Now I shall explain.

The Right Way
The right way to listen to music is to LISTEN TO THE WHOLE ALBUM IN ORDER IN THE SAME SITTING. That is the right way to listen to music. This summer, I have realized that the musical compilation that is an album is more than the sum of its parts. It is not just a bunch of individual songs thrown together in some random order for Ks and Gs. It is like a piece of artwork– each element has been put in its place for a reason, and you can’t fully appreciate one of the parts without the others. Imagine if the painting The Scream by Edvard Munch was just of the person screaming. It would not nearly have the same effect without the ocean’s mix of color, or the sky in a red turmoil behind him, or the bridge that he’s running on. Same with an album. Each piece makes the other pieces better.

The Wrong Way
The wrong way is to PUT YOUR IPOD OR ITUNES LIBRARY ON SHUFFLE. Don’t do that. It’s wrong. Let’s be honest, is there a single person who puts their iPod on shuffle and doesn’t skip and skip and skip until they get to a song they like? No. Everyone does that. So what’s the point of even doing that? That brings me to the less-wrong way that is still wrong. The less wrong way is to FORM A PLAYLIST OF SONGS YOU LIKE AND PUT IT ON SHUFFLE. This way of listening to music is less wrong, because at least you know that you like all the songs that are about to come on. Then there is less of a chance that you will skip around like before, but it still isn’t the right way, hence its being wrong. Admittedly, I still do make playlists and put them on shuffle. But when you understand the glory in listening to a whole album, it’s hard to enjoy this less-wrong-but-still-wrong form nearly as much as you used to.

So, folks, there you have it. The right and wrong ways to listen to music. Try out the right way, if you haven’t. You will likely love it. (And if you want any recommendations of the best album-listening albums, talk to me.)



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