With the rise of digital and streaming audio, the concept of ‘music albums’ seems to have taken a bit of a back seat lately (at least in my opinion). When it is so easy to just listen to just your favourite song by an artiste, then why bother with listening to the whole album that includes that song?
I come from a generation that first started listening to music on cassettes (and vinyl records) and have lived through the birth of CDs and digital audio. I am a bit old-fashioned when it comes to technology. While I certainly appreciate the benefits of newer technologies, I prefer to be a late adopter of these, rather than the first-movers or trend seekers. This allows me to savour the older technology for longer, as there is a very good chance that there’s no going back.
So, for a long time, I continued to listen to music on cassettes. I purchased my first CD in late 1998. While I purchased an iPod in 2005 or so, I hardly ever listened to it, still preferring the CD format. Similarly, I only started listening to streaming audio in late 2016.
While music streaming helped expose me to genres of music that I might have not explored otherwise, over the past few months, I have been experiencing a feeling of not knowing what to listen. The Paradox or Tyranny of Choice.
There was a time when I would be listening to music at least a few hours a day. It started dropping to maybe a few hours a week, even though I still enjoy listening to music.
Then one day, recently, I decided to listen, not to radio stations or playlists, but to an entire album. I don’t recollect which album it was, but I enjoyed the (almost lost) experience of listening to a collection of songs from the same artist in the form that the artist wanted listeners to. I followed this with a few other albums and the pleasure was sustained.
There is a movement in eating called ‘slow food’. I would like to call the pleasure of listening to an album in its entirety ‘Slow Music‘. Something to sit back and reflect on in these crazy times…