listening again for the first time…

A few years ago I was sitting in my friend Brett’s car as he played for me an album he was really excited about.  The album was “The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance.

I went out and bought the album at his urging, and gave it several listens.  Despite a couple of songs that were pretty good, it didn’t really grab me and I put it up on the shelf to be forgotten.

A couple of weeks ago I was playing video games (like I do) with my iPod shuffling through my songs.  A song came on and I was like, “what is this?  I like it”.  So I looked and it was My Chemical Romance.  So I sat down and gave “The Black Parade” another listen, and you know what?  I loved it. Begnning to end, I was drawn in.

How did an album that I didn’t particularily enjoy suddenly became so enjoyable?

I decided to take a look back to see what other albums have fallen victim to the “didn’t-like-at-first-but-now-I-love” phenomenon.  The results are facinating (especially if you know me and know my musical tastes).

For the sake of interest, here is a sampling of some of the albums that I was initially indifferent towards, but now love.

Dave Matthews Band – “Before These Crowded Streets”
Toad the Wet Sprocket – “Dulcinia”
REM – “Automatic for the People”
Radiohead – “The Bends”
Peter Gabriel – “Up” (which I would now possibly call my favorite album of ever… yes of ever!).

It’s amazing how much of our opinions about something are formed by nothing to do with that something.  Like the reviewer who gives a book a poor review because earlier that day his dog took a dump on the floor; we are moved by more than we realize (thanks, Mr. Bakker for the great simile).  

So this week, pull out an album that you long ago wrote off as “meh” and see if time has changed how it sounds.  Maybe you will be justified in your earlier judgement.  Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Either way, let me know, I’d love to hear about it.  


If you are reading this as a note on facebook, may I recommend you visit for the full service version? Some things will make more sense if you do.


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