If you’ve been following JJ’s vinyl vs. CD series, or read Piero’s new review of the Marantz turntable, then you know that vinyl is “in,” again. Putting aside the technical merits of the debate, I was fascinated by the discussion about the aesthetic pleasure of listening to an album all the way through.
We’ve become adjusted to listening in the digital world, which means shuffling through a songlist or creating our own track lists. Even if I’m listening to a CD, skipping a track involves nothing more than a light twitch of the finger on the remote.
But vinyl is a difference experience, isn’t it? You are basically committed to 20-some minutes of whatever the artist decided was going to fit on the side of that LP. I can remember listening to albums where I didn’t care for track 3 of a side, but sat through it anyway because it was too much hassle to get up, walk to the turntable, lift the tonearm, and (most importantly) gently lower the tonearm in the leader space between tracks. Instead, I ended up sitting through that track 3 and quite often, the track would grow on me.
So I think it’s great that vinyl is making a comeback, especially for the generations that were never exposed to the Zen of sitting through the entire side of an album. Now if only I can find that old lava lamp!