5 Big Lessons I Learned After Listening to 250 Albums in Under 6 Months

Matt Fish
8 min readJun 12, 2023
Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

At the beginning of 2023, I made it my mission to listen to 450 albums in a year. Averaged out, that’s about 1.25 per day.

The reason was simple: My music consumption habits were becoming stale and limiting. Despite craving exciting music experiences like a kindergartner craves candy, I’d regressed to a passive model where I was mostly listening to the same four or five playlists over and over again.

I needed to make a change.

Nearly six months into my listening challenge, I can safely say the experience has been enjoyable but also eye-opening. It’s taught me some important lessons about the state of music and the music industry, as well as its impact on my life.

In this blog post, I’ll share the five biggest takeaways from my journey thus far. Let’s get into it!

Music isn’t worse than it used to be (but sometimes the mastering and mixing sure are)

One of the most common criticisms of modern music I hear all the time, even from my audiophile friends, is that music in general kinda sucks now. Or, at the very least, it’s not as good as it used to be.

With nearly 300 album spins under my belt this year, I gotta say, I’m not feeling this vibe at all. I can understand where those folks are coming from, but, for me, it’s just too simplistic an argument. Nostalgia for the “good old days” of your favorite genre aside, the reality is there’s so much incredible music being made these days. Many people just don’t hear it or dig deep enough to find it.

I’ve listened to albums from all genres, eras, and backgrounds too, not solely new releases. Overall, my read on music quality is that it’s actually come a long way since the 50s and 60s (what most people would refer to as the starting point for modern pop music). It’s way more inclusive and accessible now, thanks to streaming, which is awesome from a discovery point of view.

Decidedly less awesome from an artist compensation point of view, but that’s a discussion for another blog post.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still pervasive issues with modern music, especially what I’d call…

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Matt Fish

Writer, content creator, music obsessive, DJ, currently sitting down.