Saturday, December 09, 2017

My Year in Music According to Spotify


As we wind down 2017 and begin to look back on the year that was, Spotify has released their 2017 Wrapped including all sorts of playlists of the top artists and tracks of the year from a multitude of genres.  That's nice and all but what's really fun is the personalized lists that they put together for each user.  Here's the thing with Spotify that I've observed...people don't really fall in love with it until they sign up for Spotify Premium.  A friend who recently signed up for the service stated that it had "opened up a whole new world" for him.  This is by no means a plug or an ad for the service (though if Spotify, you want to send me some money to talk up your service I will gladly accept those checks), I just happen to love it.  More than that though, I find their end of the year statistics fascinating.

According to My 2017 Wrapped my Top Artist was The Replacements followed by Beach Slang, Jawbreaker, Husker Du, and Hot Water Music.  Interestingly enough, The Replacements were my top artist of 2016 as well.  My top song of 2017 was of "The Tide" by RVIVR.  This didn't surprise me at all since it is my favorite song of the year.  What I did find surprising was "See A Little Light" by Bob Mould was my second most played song of the year.  I have been a fan of Bob Mould and his various projects for over 25 years and even highlighted his career on an episode of my short-lived podcast The Voices of a Generation X.  With all of that said, "See A Little Light" was a song that I somehow missed over the years.  That was until I heard it on the final episode of the brilliant Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.  The show did an incredible job using music to create tension and drive emotions home and the use of "See A Little Light" in the final moments of the last episode was absolutely perfect.  And even though I didn't know the song, I immediately knew it was Bob Mould.  With some artists you can just tell and Bob is most certainly one of those artists.

Looking at my list of Top Artists and Top Songs, I'm struck by how much of this music is older.  I knew that I was listening to a lot more music from my youth and whatnot in 2017 but to see it, for a lack of a better term, statistically was something else.  That's not to say there wasn't a TON of great music that came out this year (I'm working on my Top 40 Records of 2017 posts as we speak) but when it came right down to it, I picked the familiar over the new more times then not.  This probably has to do with the fact that I am firmly into my middle age years but other things have changed for me as well.  For instance I actually go to the gym.  Sometimes twice in one day.  (Who am I and what have I done with the real Dave Brown?)  Then there's the dread I often feel when opening my email to the never ending onslaught of messages from PR folks.  I'm sure that sounds like I'm whining, and I am but it can be overwhelming to dig through hundreds of emails about the latest shitty hip artists.  First world problems I know.  This isn't to say that there aren't some people that I look forward to hearing from because there are and those are the press releases that I pay attention to and records that I check out.  But more and more when I'm driving in my car or at the gym or doing dishes, I like to listen to stuff I know and my Your Top Songs 2017 playlist is filled with stuff that I know and love.  And really, how could anyone not find great joy in a playlist that includes Hot Water Music's "Trusty Chords," Jawbreaker's "Boxcar," Beach Slang's "Filthy Luck," and Tom Petty's "American Girl?"

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