Wednesday, February 25, 2015

One hundred three.

No end in sight. Photo by me.
As of today I've listened to 103 new albums released (or to be released) in 2015. That's a lot of music. And while I feel it's my responsibility to listen to as much new music that comes my way in hopes of finding stuff others might miss, allowing me to help unearth excellent discoveries and share them with others to make them happier, I do pine for a simpler time. Remember when a new album meant that was the only thing you'd listen to for a week or more, until you could afford another new album? I'm not so certain I miss the narrower distribution channels of yore, but I think I do miss the slowing down of time when it came to living with a new release, or an archival discovery. Would I have become such a huge David Bowie fan if I'd been able to download his entire catalog in minutes, probably prompting me to rush from one album to the next instead of living with each one for an extended period of time before moving on to another LP?*

When the "slow music" movement tried to get off the ground a few years ago—wherein a new album could not be added to a digital player until the most recent one had been fully digested—I respected the thinking driving it while also realizing the times they have a-changed and someone like me couldn't afford that luxury while still dutifully discharging my current duties as a music writer and Senior Editor. Also? I'm not certain I could return to the listening habits of yore; I suspect the way I (and many, many others) experience recorded music has fundamentally changed and our brains are literally re-wired, demanding a different experience.

So, what can I share with you, 103 albums into this new-ish year? There have been a few unexpected surprises (Young Guv! Colleen Green! Cafeine! There are others!), a number of expectedly strong albums (from artists who get lots of press all over the place so I don't feel the need to underscore them here, at this moment), quite a few solid efforts (meaning albums I would listen to again and enjoy even if I don't actively seek them out in my playlist during a down moment), a whole lot of music that isn't bad so much as it's just not interesting to me, and (thankfully) only a handful of albums I would actively categorize as bad (though even that categorization is a personal one and doesn't negate the simple fact that the musicians probably enjoyed making it and there are probably more than  few listeners who are not me that enjoy listening to it).

*Man, do I remember initially languishing in the Young Americans and Station To Station period since my teenage self had a harder time getting into those albums and an even harder time justifying the dough I spent on less than ten songs a piece, a number I felt was chintzy for an album.

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