Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Grueling Grind Of The Every Album Challenge

I’ll admit it. I may not have realized what I was getting myself into when I signed up to create and master The Every Album Challenge. The idea of the challenge was so alluring that I felt it was something I just had to do. It would also provide the chance to dig deep into my collection and listen to some albums that I haven’t visited in years, possibly decades. While my intentions were in the right place, the execution was not as well thought out. The Every Album Challenge is becoming… a challenge.

That’s not to say I’m ready to throw in the towel. It’s rare that I quit at anything, I wasn’t built that way. I’ve thought about giving in, that’s for sure, but I haven’t come anywhere close to actually giving up. However, it’s only been two months, talk to me after a year and see if I still feel the same way. Yes, part of the challenge is the fact that I do not get to listen to any new albums (except for review purposes). With a new Pop Evil coming soon and Kiss in the studio, there are going to be some days where this challenge seems near impossible. However, right now my biggest hurdle has been selection.

I’ve listened to 100 of the 2,053 albums in my collection. That means 100 albums can no longer be played. Some of my best discs have already been listened to and I may not hear them again for 3 years. So when I am making a selection about what to listen to next, I have to carefully consider many outside factors. The first question I usually ask myself is “can I go years without hearing this again?” That’s why I have not played my Gaslight Anthem CDs yet. I’m saving them for the right moment. Other albums, like Hinder’s All American Nightmare, I just HAD to hear one day. Now that I’ve played it – it’s gone until the end of the challenge. That’s very sad. No more All American Nightmare. No more “Red Tail Lights.” No more “What You Gonna Do?” That hurts. And yet, at the time I chose to play it, I was yearning to hear the record, so I gave in.

The other problem with this challenge is remembering what records I’ve already listened to. Yes, I have a spreadsheet to keep score, which is great when I’m home. When I’m on the road and ready to fire up the IPod though, it becomes an issue. I have to stop and think “Did I listen to this album yet?” If I’m not sure, it means that I can’t play it. Sometimes I end up putting on the radio instead, just to be safe. That gets to be tiresome. It flat out sucks when you want to listen to an album and then can’t because you can’t remember if the record has been listened to or not. The only thing worse than that is when I really want to listen to an album only to discover I’ve already played it. As this challenge wears on, I am certain that scenario is going to play out more and more. That could be the issue that drives me over the edge and leads to failure. Here’s hoping that I can continue to be strong.

Albums Listened To: 105
Albums Remaining: 1,948

No comments: