Man, I still love Sinbad. I just got done watching two of his comedy specials that I remember as a kid. I found it funny that this was part of one of his jokes:
I remember the first album I ever bought: Bush's Sixteen Stone. It was on a cassette tape. I played the living hell out of it. Front to back. If I wanted to hear a song again, I had an early tape deck, so I had to take it out, flip the cassette, hit fast forward a few minutes, and then take it out and flip it to play the original track back.
Some kind of work and reflection while I have iTunes playing at the moment, right?
I thought about it though - also understanding that I hear a couple of albums a week now with my job, and will eventually grow upon my hopeful career - but having a small amount once meant more than having a huge library. I did feel my joy of flowing through an album cut itself short once I eventually got a CD player. I was free to roam the album at will. Now with the ability to buy tracks individually, am I reiterating the death of the album?
Well, yes and no.
See, as a critic and a writer, I am prone to open your ears to not only good music - but great music! Sure, some albums still take a few listens to fully enthrall oneself into, but a grand album is one that never lets up and finds a repeat visit upon the initial listen. It's one where you want to go back, but are also anxious to move forward.
It would seem that technology didn't make my job easier, but gave it the eventual playing field I needed it to be. I can tell you that my top choices and honorable mentions this year were tough, but they embrace what I have just said. They may have held me for the whole year, or held me for a few weeks with return visits. Maybe I won't return years down the line, or will one day discover their beauty in what will be a bland year or in a crumbling industry of no creativity.
Don't fret. I believe there are good bands making good albums. There's just so many now, and ways to just skip through them as opposed to absorbing them. We have to not be lazy, and keep an ear to our stereo choices - we made them for one reason of another.