Should an album 'grow' on you?

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Should an album 'grow' on you?

Post by HC on Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:38 am

It happened to me too many times. Upon the very first listen, I almost turned the music off. Then, with subsequent sessions, the album slowly opened up. Or was it that my mind slowly opened up instead? Finally, I fell in love with music. And now it's one of my favorite pieces...

*but*

Should it be that way? How long must one give an album to see if it 'grows' on you? Should one give EVERY album a chance? What is the real benchmark here?

Thoughts?
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Re: Should an album 'grow' on you?

Post by Quicksand227 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:34 am

I think every music lover has had that experience countless times. I really enjoy thinking about the question you mentioned (does the album open up or my mind?), but I have no answer.

All I know is that if there is absolutely nothing on the very first listen that grabs my interest, I don't see why I should waste my time any longer. I might come back to the album years later and think about it differently, but I would definitly move on to something else after that first listen. There is just so much interesting music out there that I want to explore.
It's different with artists that I genuinely like, though. If they release a new album that I don't get at all, I'll give it more chances and try to get my head around it.

That said, there are many albums that I instantly liked and that didn't pale at all during subsequent listens and often grew on me even more.

I have spend a lot of time exploring my taste during the last six years and now know rather quickly if an album might grow on me or not. I still reach out to new artists, of course, but the chances of finding something new that will blow my mind are logically a lot less likely. One of the very few examples of an artist that grew on me in recent years would be Colin Stetson.

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Re: Should an album 'grow' on you?

Post by Sound Off on Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:48 pm

I think I have basically three categories when I listen to a album the first time.

1 I like it immediately
2 I think I could like this if I listen to it some more times
3 I don’t like it.

After that it can happen that I grow really bored after a while with something I liked immediately. Or something I didn’t like at, somehow pop up again and I start to like it. So difficult question.

But I know for sure you can slowly grow in a music genre. I like experimental albums now which I probably couldn't stand, if I hadn’t listen, to a lot more music, similar but a bit more easy listening before. (the HC site played definitely a role in this Smile ).

Bottom line, I think it’s a healthy thing to grow in an album. That way you allow yourself to explore new things and grow in music general.

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Re: Should an album 'grow' on you?

Post by jkn on Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:24 am

I don't know what the benchmark should be - but some albums I hear and don't like... and pick them up years later and find them brilliant. It's mood, it's surroundings, it's state of mind.

Flip side - sometimes I hear a track or album that is drop dead amazing on first listen and quickly wears out it's welcome.

But overall - some of my all time favorite albums have been slow growers. The slow growers tend to have layers to discover that aren't at first obvious.

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Re: Should an album 'grow' on you?

Post by Zevver on Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:35 pm

It's not just albums or songs: I find that whole genres need to grow on me. The music I'm enjoying most these days - things like Max Richter, Wagner, Ben Frost, Atom™, Alva Noto - I could not have imagined listening to nor enjoying  any of those fifteen years ago.

Like @jkn said above: It's the the slow growers that often end up as my favorites and stay in my playlists for years.

Listening to music often is a kind of learning experience to me. The hidden layers, the small details, the things that are so complicated it takes a lot of plays to figure out;

It's a big circle: the more you listen, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you enjoy, and the more you enjoy, the more you play!

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Re: Should an album 'grow' on you?

Post by HC on Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:24 am

Thanks, Zevver... you bring up some interesting points, which inevitably makes me want to ask more questions. So is the circle of listening related to experience? Or simply age?
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Re: Should an album 'grow' on you?

Post by soillodge on Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:43 pm

I will chime in if no-one minds. I think this circle can be related to age and experience. The more music you experience, the more you expect the music to bring you to the next level. The more little tricks and approaches fail to grab you like they may have in the past. For example, whole genres have been constructed out of singular sound/rhythm ideas. Like the "Amen", break. The distorted TB 303 [ReBirth]. The Hoover supersaw lead. Wubs. Side-chaining. All the shuffle/glitch soft plugs. At some point, all of these ideas were cutting edge and brought music to a new level. But the more music you listen to, the more I think these little tricks bring down the creative value of the music. So you are digging for more details, more fresh ideas [or even retroactive ones] to recapture that feeling you had when you heard those few albums that just blew you away.

I think these are the albums that grow with you. Where, in your experience, you were not ready to accept them. Or you had pre-envisioned expectations that were not met and you have to wait till your wall is brought down and you can accept it. Or sometimes you just need the "key", to alter your perception so that what you are listening to makes sense.

`michael

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