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An Album A Day (Year 2)

album a day year 2

Last March, I began listening to a different album every day. Here are a few thoughts on the exercise and along with my favorite albums from year two.

A New Album Every Day – The List – Years 1 & 2

This spreadsheet was for personal tracking, but also allowed me to easily add an RSS feed to the sidebar of my blog via Zapier. Logging the album each day was part of maintaining the habit.

Picking Albums

When I discussed with people that I was listening to a new album a day, the most common question was, not ‘why’ but rather ‘how do you pick them?’ Most everyone seemed to readily see value in the exercise, though I don’t know if everyone would agree on what actually makes something like this worthwhile.

Here’s how I chose albums to listen to:

I kept a list of albums in my phone Notes. I skimmed the list each morning and picked what I might be in the mood for.

Here’s how albums typically end up on the list.

  • I asked people what their favorite albums are, or if they’ve listened to anything good recently
  • If an artist is mentioned in an article, a podcast, etc. I look up their “best album” on besteveralbums.com. If you type in “[artist] best album” Best Ever Albums will be a first-page result.
  • After an album finishes on Spotify, playlist based on the album takes over. If a song I like comes up, I’ll add the album to the list.
  • If I Shazzam-ed a song I liked and I was not familiar with the album.
  • Occasionally, I would look at genre-specific “Top” lists on Rolling Stone, Pichfork, etc., or other lists such as the albums covered in the 33 1/3 book series.

I was never short for album ideas but, had I been, this list of ways to discover music on Lifehacker has some good suggestions.

Year 2 Superlatives

Most Pleasantly Surprising Albums

  • Susanne Sundfor – 10 Love Songs
  • Deep Purple – Machine Head
  • The Cure – Disintegration
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

Best Albums to Work To

  • Satoshi Ashikawa – Still Way (Wave Notation 2)
  • Ryo Fukui – Scenery
  • Alfa Mist – Antiphon
  • Vadim Chaimovich – Classical Piano, Vol. 1

Most Disappointing Albums

  • Kanye West – ye
  • J. Cole – KOD
  • Pusha T – Daytona

Favorites of 2018

  • Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy
  • Neil Young – Arc / Weld
  • Billy Joel – The Stranger
  • Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo

Best Album of 2018

  • Tierra Whack – Whack World

Here’s a look back at 2017 favorites.

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