You want to know what my favorite CD is? It’s the last one I got. Unless I’ve purchased a real bummer of a CD, the newest one gets put in the player and left there for a week or better on repeat. “A real bummer” is usually a CD I bought for one song, hoping to like some other songs on the CD, but finding out that the rest of them are awful or sound nothing like the song I bought it for.
My current favorite CD is one I put together myself. There are seventeen songs on it, and I’ve heard them each about 20 times in the last two weeks. Well, not all of them. See, I was reminded of a weird phenomenon whilst listening to this CD. It happens every time I put together a “mix” CD. I’ll put a bunch of songs I like on the CD, but invariably find myself skipping over some songs when I listen to it. Does that even make sense? When you buy a CD, you have no idea what will be on it, so you expect to skip over a song here and there, but if you make the CD yourself, wouldn’t it make sense to put songs on it that you know you won’t skip over? After putting more thought into it than I should have, I think I’ve figured out why that is. When you’re listening to all the music you have on your hard drive and have it set to “Shuffle,” you come to a song like “Sweet Home Alabama” and it’s a fun little break in the midst of all the rest of your stuff. But when you have a CD with only 17 songs on it, you’re going to find that “Sweet Home Alabama” wears out pretty quickly, and you’re going to skip over it almost every time.
Other songs can hold up to repeated playings. My favorite song of this current CD is “Superman” by Five For Fighting. I don’t even really know what it’s about, but I love the concept of Superman being a regular guy with hopes and dreams, and the song is beautiful. Not only do I not skip this song, I will sometimes repeat it two or three times in a row.
But “Drift Away,” a song I love, still gets skipped 2 out of 3 times. Go figure.