All Songs Considered
12:08 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Do You Really Listen To Full Albums?

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 8:17 pm

I sure do love albums. We all do. But it's gotten to be pretty impossible to give them the time they deserve. For starters, we can hear pretty much any song we want, by any artist, in any order, any time we want, anywhere. The whole world is one gigantic mix tape, now. And even if you do play an album all the way through, chances are it's mostly background noise, right? Add to that the fact that our attention spans are the most fragmented than at any other time in histo...

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Anyway, be honest. When was the last time you really listened to an album all the way through, from start to finish, without interruption? The keywords here are "without interruption." I listen to entire records all the time, but almost never manage to make it through one without stopping multiple times.

It's so hard that I can actually remember the last time I managed to pull it off without so much as a fly buzzing by to distract me. It was the fall of 2005, and the album was Iron And Wine's Our Endless Numbered Days (brilliant record, by the way). It was my evening's entertainment. This never happens anymore for me.

How about you? When (if ever) was the last time you really listened to an album all the way through, giving it the same rapt attention you would to, say, a new Mad Men episode or a movie?

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