Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Problem with Spotify



It's pretty fair to say that Spotify has revolutionised the way way my family and I listen to music as well discover new music these days.

And never before have I been able to access, listen to and experience such a wide range of music, both new and vintage, so quickly and easily before. It's as simple as reading about a new album or artist in a magazine or online and, within a few clicks, I'm listening to their latest album (Thom Yorke's music notwithstanding).

I've decided that one of the drawbacks of being so heavily involved with Spotify is that while I listen to a heap of music, I rarely go back for a second listen to anything. I am finding that I'm not connecting with the music on the deeper level that I normally would if I had actually bought the album.

This is becoming an issue especially around the end of the year and compiling a best of list. I don't hang around long enough to get into and appreciate an album or an artist anymore. Maybe, but not having invested the time and money into a product as I normally would, I don't have the same listening experience.

I really only noticed this behaviour when I a friend of mine sent me his list of the best albums of 2013 and I realised that, while I have listened to a shitload of music, I couldn't identify and remember half of it. I couldn't even remember the Triple J Hottest 100 winner of 2013, despite the fact that the song had been added to one of my playlists since the middle of the year from when I first played Vance Joy's EP. Go figure.

For this reason I am dedicating some of my listening time to one, maybe two, specific album(s) per week, usually during the commute to and from work: a kind of "album of the week" type scenario. So far this year this plan has worked well and it has seen me listening to (and really getting into and enjoying) the following albums:
  • Spiderbait - Spiderbait
  • Henry Rollins - Get Some Go Again.
  • Even - The Street Press Years
  • Custard - The Essential
  • Life Coach - Alpha waves
  • The Wonder Stuff - The Singles

Eventually I'll get around to reviewing all these albums on the blog, but the idea behind this thinking is to use Spotify to actually engage in music the same way I have for years. It has only come to my attention lately that I haven't actually done that. Who knew?

Have your listening habits changed as a result of using Spotify? Have you discovered some great new music only to find you've forgotten about it just as quickly?

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