I rarely buy music on a whim these days. There’s no need to buy an album just to find out what it sounds like, in the same way that Spotify and We7.com have done away with the need to buy a CD you used to own on vinyl or cassette – only to find out it wasn’t as good as you’d remembered).
Instead I find myself doing far more window shopping for music than actual shopping. But I’m planning a virtual trip to Amazon some time soon and have been mulling over what to buy.
So, for a short series of posts, I’m indulging my inner Nick Hornby (reader be warned!) with a bunch of self-indulgent lists. I buy most of my music from Amazon, so their top five music recommendations for me seem a good place to start:
1. This Is Happening – LCD Soundsystem
2. Total Life Forever – Foals
3. Swim – Caribou
4. Forgiveness Rock Record – Broken Social Scene
5. Teen Dream – Beach House
These are pretty accurate. But then they should be. Amazon has my past purchase history on record, added to which I get a kick out of clicking through the pages of recommendations, refining them by noting which ones I’m not interested in.
There’s definitely a point to be made here around how Amazon have cleverly subverted the traditional market research model, enticing you to give them ever more accurate information about your purchasing habits. There are I image marketing books written on this very subject, and if there are they probably reference Last.fm and its similar opt-in data capture model.
But back to the recommendations above and in fact the LCD Soundsystem album is already on order for me for a father’s day present and I have both the band’s previous records. Meanwhile, last year I almost bought the first Foals record from Rough Trade East where it was on offer – and still regret passing it up. So you can’t fault those suggestions.
However, I’ve been thinking recently of taking the first Broken Social Scene record off my iPod to free up some space. Caribou I’ve heard of via music blogs – but like much of the music I pick up that way the free mp3 I downloaded didn’t ultimately stick around, being quite good, but not good enough to justify disk space. Beach House I’m pretty sure are a Pitchfork type band. I don’t remember hearing anything by them but I’ll check them out.
That’s enough for part one.