Once more, with feeling

March 28, 2013

I’ve seen or heard a number of people expressing the wish that they could hear a favorite album (or song) again for the first time, and admitting some jealousy towards those who have never heard it before, and thus will hear it with the freshest of ears, experiencing every twist and turn as a genuine novelty.[1]

I suppose I understand that desire,[2] but there’s also something to be said for putting on an album that you haven’t listened to in years, and just being reminded why you liked it.

Which, I suppose, is just a roundabout way of saying that I made the recent discovery that Dark Side of the Moon remains a phenomenal album.

* * *

[1] This is obviously disregarding the possibility that the virgin-eared listener might perceive a particular album, song, chord change, lyric, or whatever as unbearably trite and not novel or surprising at all.

[2] On the other hand, a pretty damn uniform characteristic of my favorite musical works is that my first listen was the one I liked the least. The stuff I really like in the end is what grows on me. Even something that blows you away on the first listen has room to get even better. I can think of some arguable counterexamples to this general rule among my own favorite-musics list, but they tend to be songs that are particularly strongly associated with a particular time, place, or event—songs that function more as time machines, aids to memory, or madeleines than as musical works per se.

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