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puggy
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:08 am
Posts: 74
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:34 pm 
 

This is something that's been on my mind for a while. I've noticed that most people seem to have their own sort of ritual for listening to new albums - some prefer to just do it in the car, or even while multitasking. I can't speak for everyone, but personally, at least with music I've never heard before, I can't multitask. It feels wrong. It needs to have my full attention so that in future listens (in which I often am multitasking), it feels more familiar.

Sometimes, though, relistening to an album in order, in full, is not the most effective way of truly getting to know it, I think. It tends to lead to this effect of all of the individual songs blending together. This might be okay to some (and for some albums this is clearly preferable), who never really care to listen to individual songs, but it's a bit of a pet peeve for myself, at least, as someone raised in this whole era where music is so easily accessible it almost seems necessary to have a few favorite songs from an album to truly say you like it. And hey, putting together playlists is pretty fun.

One strategy which I've heard mentioned (but generally haven't done much yet) is to listen to an album in full once, and for the next week or two, only listen in 15 minute sections. This seems to me to be a very good idea.

How do you, personally, prefer to listen to new albums and acquaint yourself with them in the weeks that follow?
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narsilianshard
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 727
Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:47 pm 
 

I almost never have the time or patience to put 100% of my attention to listening, most of my music consumption happens either at work or while playing video games. With that said, when I get a new album my rule is to listen to it at least twice on the first day with the goal of not making a judgement call on it before hearing it 3-5 times. If it still isn't clicking after that I'll try revisiting it a few weeks down the line to see if anything changed.
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Perdition666
Veteran

Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:40 pm
Posts: 3359
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:27 pm 
 

I usually listen to music on my computer, usually doing something else (video games, this, etc). I usually can give an album my undivided attention on my first listen, but after that I have to be doing something else. Ideally, I like to give an album 3-5 plays initially - usually once play per day, over the span of a week to a month. After that, I'll let it subconsciously digest for awhile and play it when I feel the urge to (some albums do take time to grow and forcing things doesn't work). On first listen, if I feel it impossible to play an album 5 times, I'll usually bail on it permanently. For whatever reason, most albums rub me the wrong way on first play, which complicates things even further.

I tend to listen to albums as a whole - which may be a bit problematic for me since I tend to get burnt out on music real easy. I often lose interest in albums real fast, usually around the 25-30 minute mark. I tend to prefer mini-albums and EPs/singles these days, because they fit my short attention span.
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DCCLXXVII
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:04 pm
Posts: 212
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:37 pm 
 

I'm almost identical to the guy above me in this. I usually listen to metal while browsing The Archives/Forums or playing video games and doing that kind of stuff. If I'm really enthralled, I'll stop what I'm doing and just pay attention to the music. That's usually a sign that it's really good.

And yeah, I also prefer EPs, as they're faster, and you can sit down and do a quick 20-25 minute listen.
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StainedClass95
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:14 am
Posts: 375
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:29 pm 
 

Generally, I'm multitasking, but nothing that takes much energy. I may be on this site, Facebook, etc, but it's the kind of stuff that I can still put the bulk of my attention to. As far as how many chances I give, it depends on what's creating my indifference. If there's some stuff that sticks with me, but the style is not one of my normal listens or I'm not liking something minor like the production or vocals, then I'll likely give it another shot a few days later. If it's still bugging me then I'll put it away for awhile and just revisit it every so often until it works or I'm tired of trying.

Now, if nothing worked for me, then I may very well not listen to it again. There has to have been something of note to me on the initial listen if I'm going to revisit it very soon. It may click for me in a future listen, but there's just too much good stuff to fixate on trying to see if a single album will work after half a dozen listens.

I find full-lengths vastly preferable to EP's. The playing, production, atmosphere, and just general effort seems higher. I can count on one hand how many EP's I revisit with any regularity. No, I don't bury my head in the sand about them. I give them an honest effort and generally find them wanting.

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Festivus
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:26 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:48 pm 
 

Normally I don't listen to music by album. Even when it's a new album I'm interested in, I don't listen to it in one full set.

I usually listen to the songs on Spotify or YouTube.

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Manic Maniac
Grammaritically Challengated

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:58 pm
Posts: 184
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:20 pm 
 

Yeah, when I search for new stuff. I add whole albums to my spotify playlist, shuffle playlist & take away any song that come up I felt wasn't that great as I go by on the computer. Usually it'l take several relistens before I make a dicision, a process that can span anywhere from about a week to over a month.
However, if the artist is especially interesting, I'l go on youtube, search for a full album, & give it my full atention. If I like what I hear, I search on spotify for the album and start adding which ever songs I enjoyed listening. If the album is not available on Spotify, then I go to iTunes & then find the album there so I can add it to my wish list, if not available there either, I wright the name of the album that I'm looking for on a list to notify myself to search this album on a later date, in case it does become available some day.
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Empyreal
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:39 pm 
 

It's got to be the full thing. I usually turn on music when reading or writing, or when exercising - or driving around in the car. So even if I don't get to listen all in one sitting, as would be the case in the last scenario, I still play it from beginning to end. I personally think that's the best way to experience an album - the way the band intended it.
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DCCLXXVII
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:04 pm
Posts: 212
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:55 pm 
 

^This I agree with. I will never review an album without listening to the whole thing. I will never be finished with an album unless I've listened to the whole thing. I never put tracks out of order. The band intends it to be played in a certain order.
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OzzyApu
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9884
Location: Seattle, United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:18 pm 
 

Depends on the band if I know what I'm expecting or not. New albums from new bands typically I'll give the first track (or whichever is the first proper song in case it's some intro) an attentive listen so as to know what the band itself is going to sound like. Then I do what I do with every band I listen to - passive listening. Go on the internet, play a game, do something to keep me engaged while having the music playing.

Most of the time it's like that. Accept's newest was different. When I got it, I listened to the first song one day. Then the first two the next. Then the first three the next. I just kept adding one song every day so as to absorb it and not be overwhelmed like I was with the last two albums. Accept's music to me is a little harder to stick with being straightforward heavy metal for an entire album. This way, I knew what songs I definitely liked and what I didn't after repeated listenings.

When I reviewed, I'd put the album on passive-style. Then as soon as I recalled where I leaned, I'd get more engaged with putting the album on and focusing on it bit-by-bit then overall. Do the writing, listen while I'm doing it, go back and forth, get done with the review.
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BasqueStorm
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:21 pm
Posts: 2038
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:39 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
It's got to be the full thing. I usually turn on music when reading or writing, or when exercising - or driving around in the car. So even if I don't get to listen all in one sitting, as would be the case in the last scenario, I still play it from beginning to end. I personally think that's the best way to experience an album - the way the band intended it.

+1.

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CF_Mono
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:21 pm
Posts: 1543
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:19 pm 
 

Listening in the car helps. Unfortunately my car doesn't have a digital audio interface so those days are long gone for me :) pretty much the only time I get to focus on listening is if i'm doing laundry or something.
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Dudemanguy
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:19 pm
Posts: 875
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:20 pm 
 

I listen to music in a few different places, but I always make sure that my first listen is behind my computer with my nice audio setup. I never want my first impression of an album to be on my shitty car speakers, behind a pair of headphones or something else. Preferably, I would like to hear the whole thing in one sitting, but shit happens sometimes (got to make dinner or whatever), so I'm okay with pausing it after a song and coming back to it a little later (couple of hours or so). I, also prefer to listen to it really loud at first so it goes throughout the whole house and I get overwhelmed by the new music. Of course, other people reside in my house, so this isn't always possible without being a dick and I'm okay with a normal volume.

How engaged I actually am to the music greatly depends. Naturally, I'm fairly engaged on the first listen, but complex stuff will always take time to sink in for me. I'm usually pretty good about what I like, so I'm not often disappointed by albums and I generally enjoy them right on the first listen. Things tend to grow on me more as time goes on since it takes time to recognize and understand all the subtleties. At home, I'm usually only reading or doing homework when I listen to music, so I can be pretty engaged at times and will occasionally stop and let stuff just sink in. My attention span isn't really great enough to just sit there and do absolutely nothing but listen to music, but I really don't tend to do other activities that greatly demand my mental attention whenever I'm playing an album.

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teh_Foxx0rz
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 9:38 am
Posts: 371
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:23 pm 
 

The only routine I have is to listen to it once all the way through (I tend to just do whatever while doing so, however; I get bored if I'm just sitting around listening to an unfamiliar album!); then if it catches me then I might listen to it through again, or just pick out the moments I found memorable and expand my familiarity from there; if it didn't then I'll just leave it for a while and try it out another day, when it usually when it clicks for me in whatever manner it does. Sometimes I'll end up having part of one of the songs enter my head and it'll be something I hadn't picked out before, which is funny but I'm not complaining! If I've not paid attention to the album for a while then that tends to be my gateway back into it, and liking at least that song if not the rest of the album.

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MonumentalBlackArt
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:04 am
Posts: 305
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:33 pm 
 

CF_Mono wrote:
Listening in the car helps. Unfortunately my car doesn't have a digital audio interface so those days are long gone for me :) pretty much the only time I get to focus on listening is if i'm doing laundry or something.


If you have an old-ass car like me, you can (and should) get a tape to mp3 converter. They're only like 15-20 bucks and mine has lasted a year. And that's a year of MN temps, ranging from -30 to 100. They're pretty durable.

I'm pretty much just echoing everyone else here. I listen to music when reading, driving, browsing the internet, and playing video games. I listen to whole albums like 99% of the time. I try to listen to new albums in one sitting to help me wrap my head around them. After that I can and often do break them up.

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Jasper92
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:39 am
Posts: 465
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:42 pm 
 

I also listen to music when gaming or browsing. Albums I know, but also new albums. But what works better for me to getting ''known'' to an album is also listening in it in the car. And lately I have discovered that listening, while walking the dog works even better. When I go for a walk, i go for at least 45/60 min. And with just nature surrounding me it listens really comfortable and without too much distractions.
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MetalCuresHeadaches
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:35 pm
Posts: 614
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:59 am 
 

I have to listen to it the first time all the way through. I find that if I hit one song that I really like before finding the rest of the album, I tend to look at the rest of the tracks in a lesser light.
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Secular Prayer
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:28 pm
Posts: 54
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:10 am 
 

Whenever I get a new album, I find a comfy place, grab the liner notes so I can read the lyrics as the song is playing and check out the rest of the liner notes. Once I do this, further listens may warrant just pressing play, even using the album as background noise while reading or playing a video game with subtitles. If I play one song on the album, I`m always compelled to hear the whole thing. Similarly, I can`t just jump into a movie at anytime. I want to see the whole thing as it was meant to be seen. To mix it up, I`ll re-read the lyrics in case I missed something after, say, 5 listens.

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