I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this before, but I have something I call a “five-listens rule”. Which means that I require myself to listen to an album five times all the way through no matter how much I hate it the first time, and not skipping any tracks even if they annoy the crap out of me. This is an excellent rule if you were wondering. It has saved me from making a fool of myself with things that I wasn’t too impressed with at first, but have since become some of my favorite albums. Sometimes it just takes time for something to grow on you. After the first five listens, I allow myself to actually make some judgements and skip around or never listen again if I want.
Now that that has been explained, I can move on to what I really wanted to discuss. There is so much music that comes out all the time that it is just impossible to listen to even a small fraction of it (unfortunately). This is where albums that I’d love to hate come in. I wish there were more things that I listen to once through and say, I hate this and then have more time to move on. What usually happens, though, is that after five listens I start to understand things a little better and don’t actually give up on things I should.
My first example is Beck. I find nothing overly amazing about Beck. I’ve never really fallen in love with any of his albums. I really wish they weren’t on that border, though. When he comes out with something new, I think to myself, “Well, I kind of liked the last one, so maybe I’ll love this one.” If I just hated it, then I could move on, not get anymore, and not keep returning. I’d love to hate Sea Change. I think it is his best. I’ve been listening to it recently, and am borderline loving it. Due to this, it is eating up time I could be listening to current music.
Next example, M. Ward. I was pretty bored with his new one Hold Time. Nothing particularly good lyrically or musically. Just pretty standard sounding stuff. I was on my fourth listen, and I still thought I wouldn’t listen after the fifth. But on the fifth something started to change. For some reason I started to like it. It is probably still my least favorite thing that has come out this year that I got, but it isn’t bad enough for me to stop listening. I’d love to hate it. (Actually, this album is the source of this post).
Luckily, after last year my wish for wanting to hate Conor Oberst finally came true. He releases stuff so frequently, and I loved the early stuff so much, that I just really wanted a good reason to stop getting his albums. Last year it finally happened with his self-titled solo album. I see that a new one came out, but I will successfully avoid getting it and listening to it.
Lastly, I should talk about someone I’d hate to love. That would definitely have to be The Mountain Goats. With 16 albums and 27 singles/EP’s, talk about time and money killing. People that love them must never get to listen to anything else.