As I write this, I’m listening to the brand-new album from John Fogerty called Wrote a Song For Everyone on Spotify. I didn’t have to buy it, and I doubt Mr. Fogerty is getting more than a fraction of a penny for my listening convenience. Yet, even as I have access to this glutton of songs, it seems somehow unfulfilling.
For me, purchasing music used to be a part of my weekly life. Yet, part of the thrill of acquiring new tunes was that each album acted like a window into another artist’s soul, through not only the music itself, but also the album art, lyrics and liner notes that accompanied each LP. It’s as if you were invited into someone else’s house for 40 minutes; allowed to wander down the hallways and look under their beds. Now, we have so much music, we don’t know what to do. Yet, instead of individual invitations inside, we’re left wandering the streets, forced to hear the music from the sidewalks. We have access to just about everything. But, because none of it actually exists in a physical presence, we don’t connect with it like we used to.
I just purchased the new Daft Punk disc at my local big box store today. I’d already spent the whopping $1.29 from iTunes a few weeks ago on the first single, “Get Lucky,” but I have nothing to show for it. I think it’s one of the best songs to come out in a long time. So, I bought the entire disc – not because I thought the rest of the disc would be any good (I don’t have my hopes up), but because I felt the need to really connect with the music. —Tony Peters