I would rather have 30 CDs in my car than access to 20 million songs.
Call me crazy, but it's true! I've recently cancelled my music streaming subscription, and decided to make more frequent trips to the used book store down the road to find some hidden treasures in the CD section.
It's literally insane. I could have the album I bought, along with the 20 MILLION other songs on Spotify. And I wouldn't have the relatively bulky CD to deal with in the car.
So, why listen to CDs? Well, as I've made music into a career over the past year, listening to more and more music, I noticed something interesting happened:
I began to have a hard time enjoying new music.
I would turn on Spotify, and immediately I'm thinking "I've heard this before. Oh, that line is overused. Nothing new about this." Nothing felt necessary. And the worst part is, they were good songs! I was frustrated that I couldn't really enjoy listening to music any more without critiquing it. And it was demoralizing to imagine adding more "noise" to an already oversaturated music industry. 20 million songs I didn't really care to hear. I felt like a glutton, gorging on music, and I was completely full.
Why couldn't I enjoy new music? What makes music fun to listen to in the first place?
I ended up spending most of my time listening to my favorite songs from when I was younger. Or songs that brought back good memories. You know how certain songs remind you of certain friends? So I realized listening to music wasn't really about the sound coming out of the speakers as much as it was about the emotions and memories it could evoke.
I realized I needed more than "good sound" to enjoy a song, I needed an emotional connection. And streaming felt more like "sleeping around" with artists than developing lasting connections.
That's when I pulled out my old CD's. The constraints of a CD make you listen to music differently than streaming services. You have one artist and their group of 10 or so songs that they've put together for you, in a specific order. I love seeing the album artwork. Reading the lyrics. It's all part of this experience of getting to know an artist. You develop a RELATIONSHIP with the artist, see them on good and bad days. You almost feel like you know them. Because in a way, you do! I love that.
I don't want to be a music consumer. I want to get to know artists through their music.
You don't make friends in a night. It takes some time. The more I live in the music industry, the more I see music as relationships. And CDs help me build those.
I hope you know that I don't think there's anything wrong with music streaming services. All my music is available on them. It's a great tool. I've just found that using a streaming service trained me to devalue music for myself, and not to engage in the songs I'm listening to. It turned music into a buffet, and I was stuffing myself.
So, I encourage you to ENJOY music. Get to know music, however you listen to it. And get to know artists, they want to share with you.