All entries for Wednesday 01 June 2005

June 01, 2005

Guide to listening to a new CD

Some of you may not know this but in the good ol' days music was available on little discs called "CDs", which I believe stood for Casual Defractors. These were primitive objects invented by neolithic man. They have all but been replaced by wizardry which allows people to "download" music via the magical t'interweb. However unlike mp3s, CDs relied on old fashioned technology and no such dark arts were required.

Buying a new CD and taking it home is invariably a wonderful experience. This is because evil corporate record companies place mind altering airborne drugs in the sleeves of the packaging in order to shift more bulk from the shelves. Once you have got it home you'll want to listen to it. I recently went through this process with the new Oasis album, here's how you go about it:

Step 1: Make sure you have the appropriate equipment. This is to say you have a CD player and other necessary appendages to get sound from the CD into the air, for example, speakers. I've come across confused people trying to listen to CDs in toasted sandwich makers. Doing this will not only ruin your CD but make your lunch taste decidedly plasticky. As a veteran of buying CDs this step was second nature to me. However the CD case was a booklet affair so it took me half an hour to actually find the CD itself, but I'm a fool so you shouldn't expect to have such difficulties.

Step 2: Should you have the correct equipment place the CD into the player and press play. Once you've done this you're all set. There are a few fundamental ways to proceed, either immediately put on a track that you know – if you don't know at least one already may I ask why the hell you bought the CD in the first place? Or listen to the whole album all the way through. Or listen to the start of each song to get a flavour of the album. Or if you're really paranoid set the music playing backwards to find hidden messages from satan.

Step 3: Once you've listened to an album you'll probably want to form an opinion. To do this you'll need to figure out the titles of the songs you like, otherwise you'll end up sounding like you're ordering Chinese food (I like 2, 4, 7 and 11). It's also important you think of someone else the songs remind you of, this is all music critics ever do and they get paid for it. For instance I think Mucky Fingers sounds vaguely Dylanesque (Bob Dylan, not the one from the magic roundabout. The key difference here is that Bob Dylan's work was inspired by drugs, whereas the magic roundabout was… was… er?). If all this opinion forming sounds like hard work don't despair. Just buy a copy of NME and they'll kindly tell you what to think. No one really has an opinion about anything anyway, they just stole it from someone else. Personally I'd rather be listening to Girls Aloud or Westlife but that's not cool so I go along to crash and listen to "good" music (Oasis? hmmm) in order to fit in.


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