We’ve all been there; we’ll see (or, rather, hear) a new album that, to you, doesn’t quite live up to expectations. And that’s all great, but then the rest of the world seems to explode about said album, praising it as the paragon of a new age of music. The critics can barely keep it in their pants because of it; your friends won’t shut up about it; it sweeps all the AOTY lists, and any other awards ceremony you might care about, all the while you just sit there and wonder: “why?” Why the fuck would anyone find this to be that good? You might wonder if you just don’t “get it,” like you’re missing an important part of the picture. Again, this is hardly a new experience for most music listeners, regardless of genre, but it’s a phenomenon so frustrating that it tries you again and again. I can definitely say that I’ve been there in the last few years; there are just some releases that seem beyond my perception. I’ve learned (or at least have tried) to get over it, and ignore it, but, you know, it’s tough, so I thought it might be a good idea to explain ways of dealing with that album in a positive way, instead of becoming another internet troll or just getting frustrated enough to punch a hole in the wall.
To try to describe the sheer amount of music available to people today would be bordering on redundancy. It’s just way too much in terms of content—too much for any one person to ever digest in their lifetime. And that’s a bit of a double-edged sword, as there is a lot of really great music out there, just begging you to listen to it. Streaming tools like Spotify and Soundcloud make this music incredibly available. But, as powerful and laden with tunes as those programs are, there isn’t much in the way of actually exploring it.