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I guess I just like liking things

spreadingrumoursI can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought an album for one song. I’ll hear that song on the radio or in a movie, then listen to it on YouTube a bunch, and then finally decide to buy the album. My thought process seems to be “This song is worth $10 to me, but maybe there will also be some other song I will like.” It makes no sense, I know, especially in this brave new world where you can listen to the whole album before buying it if you want. That never works for me, though. I need to listen to the whole album through, several times, normally while driving. My daily commute is such that I can usually hear a whole album every day, and my usual practice is to have a new album in the car for a week before passing judgment on it.

So far this year I’ve had good luck. I’ve bought five albums, and three of them have had more than “the one I liked” that I ended up liking. One other I bought because I like Norah Jones’ voice, but I wasn’t bowled over by the album, and one other I’m only in day 3 of its rotation, so I can’t tell yet.

These last two lead into the other issue I have. In the case of Grouplove’s Spreading Rumours album, I knew going in that I loved one song, but I ended up liking 3-4 total songs. Since that album was $10, it’s about $2.50 per song I like. These other two albums, Norah Jones and Karmin, I bought because I liked previous music by them. But what if I don’t end up liking any songs on the Karmin album? I’ve bought two of their albums at a combined cost of around $18 for 20 songs. I like a couple off the first album, so that makes it $9 per song so far. That seems steep until I remember buying things like the Metal Gear Solid soundtrack for the one ending song and paying $20+ for it.

Of course, breaking down a price per song doesn’t seem like the best way to judge something’s merits. After all, paying $9 to go see a two-hour movie is foolish when compared to paying $60 for a videogame I’ll put 100+ hours into. That doesn’t take into account things like “atmosphere” and “experience” that it’s difficult to assign monetary values to.

Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks like this…

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