In 2016 I made three New Year’s Resolutions. Why three? So I could fail two of them of course. One of those resolutions was to listen to 52 albums in 52 weeks. In case you didn’t know there’s 52 weeks in a year. I posted this on Facebook and asked for recommendations of albums that changed people’s lives. I got some responses and one or two people wanted to follow the list for inspiration of what to listen to as well. So I made a Spotify list. Well, part of my resolution was to write something about the album I listened to so I could fully comprehend what I had heard. You’ll occasionally see those posts here on this blog. Before you read any of those blogs you might have some questions, so here are some answers:
Q: Where is the playlist?
Q: What do you know about music?
A: I know nothing about music. If you’re looking for technical analysis, or really any kind of informed opinion then prepared to be disappointed just like my parents and any EX I’ve ever had. But let me make a point: I think music is the most subjective thing there is. You can watch a one minute short on YouTube and have a negative reaction, but then someone can say “yeah but look, it’s in focus, the set design is good, they acted well.” Maybe in spite of all that you still disliked it, but you can modify your opinion to say “I recognize this is made well, but I personally dislike it.” In music, it’s just raw reaction. I can play something that is renowned in the music world to someone who has nothing against it, and if they don’t like it, no amount of explaining things to them will change their mind. They will never appreciate any aspect of it.
So whether or not I know anything about music doesn’t seem to make a difference. In addition to that, there’s already a thousand other websites that know way more about music than I do. I don’t intend to give you critical analysis. I’m a normal guy, giving you normal dude opinions. Think of this like a book club and I’m just that one person who just talks every time we meet. I encourage you to participate as well!
Q: Why should I care what you think?
A: I don’t think you should care what I think, other than if the words I say convince you based on the merit of what is said. On the topic of subjectivity, you’ve probably made up your mind after hearing something the first few times. So if you read what I write you’ll either agree or disagree and that’s fine. Music is super subjective after all. However, I’ve found that people have difficulty expressing how they feel. It sort of bottles up and they make a lot of hand gestures and they go “you know… it’s just kind of…” and then hopefully the other person fills in the blanks. So hopefully we hit some albums during this conquest that were a blank spot for you and fill it out for you, like Taylor Swift.
Q: Why did you pick a particular album for a particular week?
A: Believe it or not I actually have a method to the madness of the entire list. Right now, as I write this (January 8th 2015), the playlist is a dump of nonsense but it’s intended to be sorted. Just to give you an idea of how I intend to sort it: I wanted to mix the genres so I don’t get sick of hearing the same thing. I also wanted to hit a lot of albums that have been called classics of the genre they’re from. So for example, I’ve been recommended Madvillain’s Madvillainy a lot, I’ve also been recommended Nas’ first album a lot. However, I don’t really want to listen to two Rap albums back to back, so I’ll probably want to split them up. I also don’t really want to split them up with really polarizing genres like The Beatles’ Abbey Road, so I’m trying to gracefully rise and fall between genres. Of course this gets difficult because I do want to listen to a lot of Hip Hop/Rap albums, not necessarily back to back, but it’s going to be hard to ease in and out of them constantly. The point is, I’ll explain at the beginning of each post why I picked an album for each week.
Q: What will you cover in a blog post?
A: I usually post a little background on why I picked that album, why the artist is well-known. Then I just go into general thoughts about the album. There’s no real format.
Q: Will you post every week?
A: Not necessarily. I’ve been reviewing video games and movies my whole life and I can tell you the hardest things to write are the ones where you have no opinion at all, and that’s honestly the most common feeling I’ve had for music albums I’ve come across. The thought of having to write something about Incubus’ If Not Now, When? Absolutely terrifies me. The album manifestation of a mild breeze is how I would describe it. Now imagine writing 52 of those. Christ almighty.
Q: What if I want to contribute or have a suggestion or have a question?
A: Post a comment! On any of the articles! I’ll see it. Post on the one about the album in question if it’s reference to that album. You can always reach me on Twitter if for some reason you don’t want to post here. @ArthurAugustyn.