How many listens/spins before you can form a definitive opinion on a new album?

Poll: How many listens/spins before you can form a definitive opinion on a new album?
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View poll results: How many listens/spins before you can form a definitive opinion on a new album?
Less than 1
1 1%
1
15 14%
2
26 25%
3
35 33%
4
7 7%
5
11 10%
6
3 3%
7
2 2%
8
1 1%
Moar!
5 5%
Voters: 106.
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#1
Everyone's listening habits are different so I just wanted to know how you all approach an album that you're hearing for the first time.

So, in general/on the average, if you were told to rate an album on a scale of 1 to 10 for example, how many spins would it take before you can form a definitive opinion on the album and confidently give it a rating?

Personally, it usually doesn't take me more than a couple of spins before I could decide whether I like a particular album or not. But on the average, all I would really need is one spin.

The albums that usually receive double-takes from me are those that I end up really liking. I end up thinking "Wow, was that really that good?" so I listen to it again to confirm.

For albums that I really dislike, I usually don't have to finish the record to realize that it doesn't work for me. Although I usually do listen to it until the end just so I don't miss anything that might surprise me.

You?
Last edited by valacirca at Jun 1, 2010,
#3
It depends on the music really, but usually for me, the first one is the one that counts the most.
...
#4
It varies.

If something completely blows my mind, then the first time obviously. Others might take some time to grow on me, so I'd say about 4 or 5 for those.
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#6
depends, sometimes it will be obvious from the first play through but other times it takes a couple more. shouldn't take more than 3 or so.
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#7
It varies a lot for me, some albums blow me away the first time but I find them boring or even dislike them later, some albums I find boring at first but then after listening to them a bunch of times I start to really like them. Usually if I don't like something though after 5-6 listens I'm never going to.
Last edited by metalfan986 at Jun 1, 2010,
#8
One, for me, as it dictates whether future listens are necessary. If it's an album by a band I truly expect to like I almost force myself to give it enough listens, to come round.
Last edited by red157 at Jun 1, 2010,
#9
It varies, as other folk have said, so I'm gonna go with the average of 3. Though sometimes it can take up to 8 or even more, if it's an album that's significantly exceeded my expectations - I just keep finding more things to like about it that I subconsciously ignored at first.
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#10
It varies

1 listen - Them Crooked Vultures ST
12 listens - Colors

I have favourable opinions on both of course
#11
Some stuff blows my mind the first time, but if it is in my genre and it doesn't captivate me immediately, I will give it a second chance and then if it still doesn't wow me I will never listen to it again.
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#12
Quote by Duffman123
It varies

1 listen - Them Crooked Vultures ST
12 listens - Colors

I have favourable opinions on both of course

That was going to be my example for an album I almost forced myself to enjoy. Listened to it so often that I knew the words for songs before I decided I liked them.


Are people saying they'll given any album three listens before deciding if they like it? That's a lot of accumulated time that could be spent trying new music.
Last edited by red157 at Jun 1, 2010,
#13
Quote by red157
Are people saying they'll given any album three listens before deciding if they like it? That's a lot of accumulated time that could be spent trying new music.

It's more about when you're initially unsure about an album, since I can usually tell that I don't like an album by the end of the first listen and I'd imagine most other people are the same way.
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#14
If I don't like an album on first listen, I try to give it at least 3-4 more tries before I say I don't like it, cause maybe I just wasn't in the mood for the type of music on the album the first time I listened to it.

EDIT: And like somebody said above, sometimes you know you love an album on first listen, other times it takes a while.

Like, for example, I loved Animals by Pink Floyd on first listen (as well as most of their other 70's stuff), and it's still one of my favorite albums of all time.

But, it took a few listens for me to fully appreciate Boards of Canada's Geogaddi, which, like Animals, is now one of my all time favorite albums.

EDIT2: It took me a few listens to get into that TCV album, as well, but now, shit, it blows me away every time I listen to it.
Last edited by crazy8rgood at Jun 1, 2010,
#15
Depends.

The Fall of Troy- Manipulator, once, loved it
Surfing With the Alien- about 7, learned to love it.
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#16
Really bad/boring-3/4 listen
I just shit my pants;this is so amazing-1/2 listen
Pretty sweet/catchy shit-1 listen
Gotta adjust to get into this-2-3 listens
#17
Quote by red157
That was going to be my example for an album I almost forced myself to enjoy. Listened to it so often that I knew the words for songs before I decided I liked them.


Are people saying they'll given any album three listens before deciding if they like it? That's a lot of accumulated time that could be spent trying new music.

Really?

I absolutely loved it from the first time I heard it
#18
Usually 1. But I'd have to listen to it 2-3 times if I can't decipher the lyrics. (ex. Pearl Jam albums)
#19
I can usually tell in about two, but there are definitely exceptions. Like Crack the Skye, I didn't really like it at first, but after a few listens it became one of my favorites.
#20
Good albums have little secrets that pop out at you every once in awhile. I was listening to Yes's Fragile on vinyl (I've got a digital copy) and I heard a TON of things that I couldn't hear on the digital copy (Only a pound or so of that TON was excess noise)
#21
1 or 2 to form a general opinion, 3 to form a definitive opinion. However, the first time I listened to BTBAM I was like "What is this shit," and put it away for a month. Listened to it again, felt it may be worth listening to more, slowly got into it, and I honestly don't think it was under 10 listens of Colors before I realized how ridiculous and amazing that band is. Not a fan of metal in general though anymore unfortunately, but loads of respect to BTBAM.
#23
Depends.

I could listen to an album once and think it sucks, but listen again and think "Holy shit this is amazing" (like I did with Era Vulgaris).
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#24
I depends on what I'm listening to and what type of mood I'm in.
Talking Heads' Remain In Light took me a couple of listens to really get into, whereas I fell in love with Sleater-Kinney's Dig Me Out about ten seconds into the first track.
#25
For me, I need to listen to an album around 5 times.

I listened to Coldplay's A Rush Of Blood To The Head probably 15-20 times before I developed a real appreciation for their music. They are now one of my favorite bands. I grow on bands slowly.
#26
Usually about 3 times for me. If I take the time to listen to an album a few times, I end up liking it anyway and if I have a feeling I won't like the album I don't buy it. So I end up liking everything I listen to in the end
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#27
Normally about 4-5 times. The only reason is I need the first one to decide whether or not I like the overall sound, then I need one or 2 to analyze the lyrics, and then another to try to recognize the strengths and weaknesses that the album has.
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#28
Depends. Sometimes I'm just totally amazed the first time I listen to somthing, other times I have to listen to it a few times to appreciate the greatness.

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#30
It depends. For Bomb The Music Industry! I heard (Shut) Up The Punx! and I fell in love. For Circa Survive, it took me a while. I didn't really like Juturna at first, then one day I popped it in and fell in love.
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#32
I'd put the average at 3

some albums i listen to once or twice and fall in love with, but some take quite a few listens before I really get into it. it depends on the mood I'm in as well
#33
Typically 3 or so.

I've found that I get tired of albums that blow me away immediately much faster than the ones that grow on me. If I let an album grow on me, I tend to listen to it a lot longer.
#34
at least 4, to actually have an opinion that's not just "It's good/ bad" or "i do/don't like it"
#35
I'd say 2-3. If you can't make up your mind after 3 listens then I don't know what to tell you.


I don't think any album should be immediately loved or dismissed after one listen. I've had albums that I disliked at first, but liked after a few listens. I've also had albums that I immediately liked, and then started disliking the more I listened to them.
#36
Quote by valacirca


The albums that usually receive double-takes from me are those that I end up really liking. I end up thinking "Wow, was that really that good?" so I listen to it again to confirm.

For albums that I really dislike, I usually don't have to finish the record to realize that it doesn't work for me. Although I usually do listen to it until the end just so I don't miss anything that might surprise me.

I'm a lot like this. For instance, first time I listened to 21st Century Breakdown I was like... this is really disappointing. But after a complete run through of about 5 or 6 times the album really grew on me.

But to be honest, I've heard Know Your Enemy and 21 Guns so many times now that I want to murder a baby every single time I hear "Does the pain weigh out the pride."

Some albums like For Blood and Empire are immediately satisfying and a thrill, but some just get better with each listen.

But some are absolutely terrible, first run, without a doubt... I don't really have any examples because all the albums I've felt like that about are all erased from my memory
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#37
1 to see what its like, 2 to decide whether i like it or not, and 3 when I like it enough to try and decipher some of the music in it.
#38
One for me, because opinions change, and I don't really buy that one is more "definitive" than the other. Kinda defeats the purpose of it being an opinion in the first place.

But that might just be the semantics whore within me.
Last edited by xaviergray at Jun 2, 2010,
#39
After the first listen I tend to form an opinion that I assume won't change, but it always does. It can take any number of listens for an album to grow on me. It was only around the 20th time, by the time I'd become familiar with all the songs, that I really started to appreciate Devin Townsend's Ki in its entirety.
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Last edited by whalepudding at Jun 2, 2010,
#40
More than once usually. I actually find myself instead of hating/liking albums, figuring out specific times when i'd be in the mood to listen to albums. I usually don't buy shitty albums, but I have to be in the right mood to listen to certain ones or else i'll dismiss it and say it sucks.
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