None-Hit Wonders Dept.

Review: In ‘Every Song Ever,’ Ben Ratliff Helps the Listener Discern - The New York Times

It remains debatable whether there is a right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy way to listen to music. Being an omnivore doesn’t even guarantee increased enjoyment. There are people who derive endless delight listening to just one kind of music, or even a single artist, as Mr. Ratliff acknowledges in a section about people he has encountered who have all-consuming obsessions for Frank Zappa or the Grateful Dead’s live recordings. Conversely, one of the downsides of the age of plenty is that the more widely you listen outside your well-worn grooves, the more frequently you’ll experience disappointment, distaste or just indifference. More is less.

This is a strange attitude to take. If I'm in the habit of listening outside my well-worn grooves, nothing is truly disappointing or distasteful. The mere act of listening without prejudice is itself elating, if you can get to it in the first place. Just having open ears is its own reward.

To my mind, "enjoyment" has a broader meaning than just "I'd buy it" or even "I liked it". I wasn't sure I liked all of Renaldo & The Loaf or Green Velvet or Nocturnal Emissions or what have you, but I know my ears have been made all the richer by way of encountering them. It's made all the other things I hear seem that much deeper, that much more riddled with unexpected dimensions. How is that not enjoyment? Not everything has to make me wanna get up and dance.

Tags: criticism music

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2016/03/15 19:00.

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