Dic 29 2008, 1:57

Version for non-readers: (with bold text for extra ignorant people =)
1. Put your 20th favourite album (or any one you know well) in your playlist.
2. Reverse the order of the tracks (so 1st track is the last one and the last one is the first one)
3. Listen to it and see if you see the album in a different light, or even find a "new" favourite song.
4. For god's sake, read this journal when you already opened the page. It'll only take five minutes, I promise

Version for readers:

Some time ago, a funny thing happened to me. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is defintely my favourite album by the famous Smashing Pumpkins and I've heard it so many times that there was nothing new for me to discover, I could just enjoy it over and over again. At least I though so.
One day, a friend of mine told me how much he loves To Forgive. Now, I know the song perfectly well and yes I really really like it, but because I am really bad at remembering songs by their names, I had to play it. At that moment, I started to absolutely adore the track.

Now, you could say that was because my friend told me he likes it and that somehow changed my opinion on it. I see something different behind this though and by now I am absolutely sure I am right in that case.

By the way, many people just listen to separate songs, they just pick one they like and play it. If you're one of those people who almost never listen to whole album, stop reading now, there is absolutely no chance you could use this anyhow.
Here is the reason I came up with: While I often do enjoy whole album without any outer interruptions (what I mean by that is actually LISTENING to the album and not doing anything else), the album as a whole simply kind of melts into one major emotion (or, kind of a "story" the album tells). While this is a good thing, because I believe album should have some message in it (and I don't mean that in philosophical way, just a overall feeling I get from the album), it makes many songs, especially those on the latter half of the album kind of hide behing the overall mood of the album.

And how I proved that? Here comes the reason for this journal. Try this by yourself and you might get really surprised of the outcomes. Since that time, I sometimes play an album I know well in reversed order. That way, my brain, already programmed to "ah I love this song and also the one that comes after" starts to actually focus on each song and I get a completely different feeling off the album, and, which brings me back to the beginning of my story, I often find an amazing song, which I always really really liked, but was missing it's true beauty because it was just "one of the songs on the other half".

And if not anything else, you will always at least get a slightly different view of the album


Also, some people came up with an alternative - shuffle. While this could bring a similar outcome, it's not as "good" as reversed playing, which has the target of revealing tracks on the second half, where people's attention usually get's dissolved by either waiting for the conclusion, or just "listening to the rest of the album"

Although I have done this myself many times, I can't recall many of such findings now, so I'll just name a few:
Saltillo - I'm on the Wrong Side (Ganglion) - For a LONG time, I thought A Hair on the Head of John the Baptist was the pinnacle of this album. While it still definitely is my favourite, the album got just so different when I started to recognize the Wrong Side as one of the best.
Arctic Monkeys - From the Ritz to the Rubble (Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not)
Holy Fuck - Safari (Holy Fuck LP)
Mogwai - R U Still in 2 It (Young Team) and also Devil Rides (The Hawk is Howling)
Serj Tankian - Lie Lie Lie (Elect the Dead)

Actually, I started to remember too many. There's around 5 more I recall, but this is just to give you a view on what the "discovery" of reverse playing has done for me.


  • LennieGehring

    Will definitely have to try it. Actually, I recall non- intentionally playing Splinter by Sneaker Pimps few times like this. Yes, and I know this feeling of waiting for the following song when the current one ends..the ends and beginnings of the songs are somehow connected in my head.

    Feb 7 2009, 22:57
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