Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Ear For A Single

Call it a blessing and a curse. When I hear an album for the first time, there is always one song that stands out to me above the rest. Whether it is an EP or a full length record, at least one song "speaks" to me. This often ends up being the one that receives radio airplay.

I've gotten a lot of hell for this ability over the years. My music snob friends like to tease me for recognizing the most popular and radio-ready hits. Everyone with decent taste in music knows the single is often the most loathed song on any album, as it gets overplayed ad nauseum by radio stations across the country. It finds its way into commercials, music videos, grocery stores, and bores a hole into your very soul. Sometimes it is mediocre when compared with the rest of the album. Other times it is so infectiously catchy, you can't help but love it.

As much as you love to hate most singles, these are the songs that are chosen to grab a listener and drive them to further explore the band's album. If the single is really good, it may even encourage a listener to delve into a band's entire discography.

I'm proud of my ability to hear an album and choose a song that I am confident will make a new band successful, or breathe new life into a band that is on the verge of a comeback.
Having this gift means I'm doing my job well.

What are some of your favorite singles? Least favorite? Is there a single you hated, but eventually ended up listening to and becoming a fan of the band?

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