How many times do you have to listen to a song before you know if you like it? Does this number change depending on the artist? These are questions that popped into my head this week, but really I think about them every time I hear a new album or song. I usually have a rule that I have to listen to a new album at least two or three times in its entirety before I can decide if I like it. And one of these times has to be at high volume. But the dawn of the $0.99 single has changed the way we listen to music, so I usually have to hear a new single on the radio or Spotify a few times before I can judge it.
Surprisingly, my two-three listen rule is different for new vs familiar artists. For example, Chelsea has been singing a song the past couple of weeks that I wasn’t familiar with, so I asked her all about it. I’ll let you have a listen:
I liked it. Right away in fact. I like the old-timey sound she has, and even if you don’t like the song, you have to admit she can really belt it out.
So back to my thoughts. I am familiar with a few of Adele’s songs, but not many, and again, I took to this one right away. Maybe that is because it’s just a good song – Radio 1 seems to think so. But getting a lot of airtime on big radio isn’t always only because your music is good, sometimes it is based on reputation. For example, Radio 1 is also playing a lot of Eminem’s new song with Dr. Dre “I need a doctor”. I didn’t like this one right away. I’ve listened to it a few times and I’m not sure I’m sold on it.
I actually find myself a little over-critical of some of my favorite artists. I own every Eminem and Dr. Dre album, and am a fan of their music, even though some of those records are not very good. So I suppose I listen to a song or album two or three times because I want to like it. I mean I like the artist, and this is their new stuff, so I should like it right?
What about you guys? How do you test drive your music? Do you buy new albums by your favorite artists out of loyalty before knowing if you like the songs? I will always listen to a new album or song by an old favorite artist, and more often than not I’ll play it enough that I’ll start to like it. I’ll have to pay attention this coming year when my favorite band (The Foo Fighters) come out with their new album, and Dr. Dre finally releases his much-hyped comeback project. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.