Why I Love Vinyl

For some people, older albums seem outdated. What’s the point in purchasing an entire album, especially in some hard copy format? I’m going to give you three reasons why I love to listen to vinyl in the hopes of explaining this bizarre phenomena of regression in music technology.

The Physicality
3. As functional as iPod’s are, holding thousands of songs in the palm of your hand, the weight of the art is lost. Vinyl weighs in your hands, asking you, even before you place it on the turntable, to settle down into your bones and hold the gravity of the music, to let your muscles tense and relax with pressure of the vinyl in your hands. An iPod allows you to toss from hand to hand the crafted work of artists without consideration to the time and effort placed in the songs. A vinyl’s size demands your attention to care and thought at artist placed in the work. Even the grooves catch your eye in the hope that you’ll take care to see the music as you listen.

The Self-Awareness
2. Vinyl forces you to consciously commit to music, to decide. With an iPod, you can just skip around and let a machine try and understand what mood you’re feeling. Vinyl asks you to know yourself and your mood in order to choose your music, because you can’t just switch around at a moments notice and say, “I want a Queen song, because I’m not really feeling Frank Sinatra tonight.” Though why you wouldn’t be feeling Frank is beyond my comprehension. You get the point though, that the process of listening to vinyl asks you to commit and know yourself in order to enjoy the music listening experience, to physically look at albums rather than asking Siri to play some such music, without acknowledging the other options at your disposal.

The Process
1. Nothing beats listening to an album from start to finish. By listening to vinyl–or even a CD or tape–there’s the decision to listen to the whole art work of the musician. Albums for many artists are carefully planned and maneuvered so that the sequence of songs makes some type of sense, that the themes of the album flow properly. It’s not just a collection of songs, but a storyline, if you’re willing to listen to it. An iPod allows you to skip songs, to ignore them completely, but the system of allowing a record to continue on its own entrances you into the listening experience, begging you to listen, and not just hear the music, the crafted notes and words.

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