DJ Highlights

Tips on Really Listening to an Album

During my formative years, I’ve definitely skimmed through albums or never listened to them altogether. Back then I only chose to listen to singles I heard in the mall that cost $1.29 on iTunes or I just listened to the same rotation of songs on my iPod. Fourth grade was a long time ago and it definitely took a lot of growing up and an increased appreciation for music to figure out that albums are full on works of art and they gift you with many more, lesser known songs. Here’s some of my tips on how to better appreciate albums for what they truly are:

  1. Eliminate distractions: sit in bed, go to the park, push your worries to the side, put your headphones on and just listen.

  2. Focus on and consider different elements: some things you can focus on while listening is the track order, album cover, lyrics, the length of the songs, the tempo of the songs, influences you hear, etc. This helps in appreciate the smaller aspects that make albums unique and cohesive.

  3. Research the album and artist: After I’ve formed a pretty loose opinion on the album, I like to just google it and read other reviews to form a more well-rounded view of the work. And while you’re at it, research the artist if you don’t already know enough about them to give the album perspective.

  4. Consider concept: take a step inside the artist’s head; what do you think they were trying to convey with the album and all of its components? Is there an overarching theme, mood or message? Take those thoughts into perspective as you listen.

  5. Re-listen: there has been a TON of albums that I didn’t care for upon first listen. Before you write it off, give it another listen, another chance. And if you loved it the first time, listen again anyway.

  6. Remember that albums are a lot like people, they aren’t perfect, but instead a deliberate culmination of different ideas and influences chosen by the artist. The final product is a holistic work that can be experienced by a listener like yourself, but only if you allow yourself to receive it properly.

-cellar door Xx