Monday, April 24, 2006

The Beauty of Tapes

Danger Mouse discusses the danger of the download and the beauty of not being able to fast forward easily with The Observer:
'Music was better when we were kids. We had longer attention spans back then,'
Danger Mouse continues. 'When we were young we had tapes, and you listened to
every track. You didn't fast forward in case you overshot. And songs you didn't
like turned out to be your favourites, because the album became a person. It
grew on you. Now, if kids don't like the first few bars, they're gone."

It's true. I remember numerous occasions when it was such a pain in the ass to fast forward the tape and I just ended up listening to the song I thought I didn't like. And in the end, I grew to like that song. One example was "Disintegration" by The Cure. I always hated the fact that it broke up the down "The Same Deep Water As You" and "Homesick" with its sharp crashes and jarring sounds. But since I hated fast forwarding, and then rewinding if I overshot, I ended up listening to "Disintegration" a lot, and now I love that song. So Danger Mouse speaks the truth. He's also right about "the album" too - I think people really viewed an album as a whole body of work before digital downloads became available - now that we can pick and choose at the iTunes buffet, we ignore the album and a song's whole musical context. But what can you do - a lot of times it's only worth it to buy one or two songs off an otherwise crap album.


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