Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Rule of 3

Awhile back I posted about reading about Nick Hornby's theory on the need to solve a song in order to get past it and move on to another song. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it; You hear a song, it sticks, you have a burning desire to hear it over and over. You hum it as you walk down the street, you sing snippets to yourself when you're waiting for the lights to change, for the timer to go off, while putting a load of laundry in the dryer or snuggling your toddler after nap time.

Maybe it's just me, but I become addicted to certain songs and play them over and over until the husband asks "Hey can we listen to something else?" It's a little embarrassing to admit that when I let him play an alternate song that my ears are itching to hear my most recent addiction.

my recent over-plays?
Well, there's Keane's latest album Perfect Symmetry. And not just a single song, the whole album has been on permanent rotation.

There's A-ha's songs Forever not Yours and Did Anyone Approach you from the Lifelines album, plus the title song is pretty good with a wicked cool video (Do the kids still say wicked cool?)

and then in the spirit of the holidays
Raveonettes' Christmas Song.

I have a rule about buying music that I stick to very faithfully. I call it the Rule of 3 and it's never let me down. I will not buy an album unless I've heard three songs and liked them. I could be incredibly enthralled by a single, so much so that my whole life takes it on as a sound track. If I can't hear two more songs I may buy the single song or hit replay on Youtube and listen to it until it's run its course, but I will not buy the whole album. 3 is my limit. If I like two and there isn't a third song that gets me I can guarantee that if I buy the album I will lose interest quickly and the purchase will have been a waste of money. I've done this a few times and the albums are still collecting dust on the shelf.

The last album Canadian band Odds put out before becoming The New Odds is a perfect example. I loved Odds, I saw them live 4 times. My whole relationship with my husband is built around Odds, Monty Python and a mutual love of Pepsi. The last album came out and we bought it because it was Odds. I'm going to be honest here. I don't think I've ever actually listened to the whole thing all the way through.

If I like three songs on an album and the others do nothing for me, I know that with time, more songs will click and I'll end up loving the whole album. The A-Ha is a great example I heard one song and listened to it on Youtube hitting replay more than once, I listened to another and liked it not so much. Listened to another and was a little iffy leaning toward liking, fourth song was "Eh" fifth song I couldn't get enough of it. I got the album and have played the whole album at least once a week for the last 8 months.

I love Itunes and Youtube are perfect rule of three helpers, because they let me sample an album or song snippets risk free. if I love a song or artist enough I'll make a purchase.

I have one exception to the rule of three and that's Depeche Mode. I'll buy them sound unheard based on my adoration of the music and the history of the bands music over the last 28 years. For me they are that good. I can't wait for the new album to come out so I can drive everyone nuts with the repeat all feature in Itunes.

So why am I telling you this?

Really it's to help purge these songs out of my system and make way for the next batch that I know are coming down the pipes. Depeche Mode's as yet untitled album for instance. I'd like to hear about what you've been listening to as well. Any songs that are circling round your head? On auto replay? I've told you mine....

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