Are you old enough to remember a time when you used to listen to an entire record? More than that, do you recall a time when a record’s highlights were more than the songs you heard on the radio? Remember how much fun it was discovering all those non-single or “deep-cuts”? When did that all stop? More importantly, why did that stop?
I’m not sure that I have an answer, but I’ve noticed that I listen to my own playlists rather than an entire album in the last couple of years. Wait, let me clarify- I listen to playlists on my way to work or to the gym because I want to get in the right mindset; some songs just get me in the right mood. At work, I’ll listen to an entire album of an artist or group,and when I’ve spoken to a few of my colleagues about the latest album from one of their favourite artists/ group I usually get this weird look when. Album? Who listens to the album? Why listen to the album? I just listened to the singles that I heard off YouTube. Besides the fact that I felt ancient, it dawned on me that music is not listened to the same way any longer. Or I do not listen to music the same way this generation does.
Maybe it is true the internet has created a new generation of listeners who do not have the attention span or have become programmed to get that instant gratification that only the overplayed hit single gives them.
It’s a shame music has always been much more than that. I always thought that listening to an entire record got you deeply immersed into the music, and you started to get a feel for what the artist was really trying to say. The songs themselves, including the hit singles have a deeper impact, and make more sense as you listen to the album as a whole. In turn we get invested into the album. On some level, we connect with the artist/group. The point I’m trying to make is that by listening to whole album, you start to get a sense for what makes an artist tick, their passions, their loves, their heartbreaks, and their hopes and dreams and through that understanding is where you get into a true love for the music.
So maybe its time to get back to listening to records as a whole again. The world has lost touch and that “connection” with an artist or group is truly an amazing feeling. I would rather have a meaningful connection than some 3-minute-long “quicky” gratification any day.