The challenge is a pretty simple one – over the course of 2020, I want to listen to 366 albums I’ve never heard before.
I’ve set myself six guidelines/allowances to go by while doing this:
- Albums can be old or new, but must be new to me. They can’t be ones I’ve listened to before, even once. As I’ll need to get through them pretty swiftly, reviews will be written after one or two listens. That inevitably means I’ll undersell some growers and enthuse over some right “shrinkers”, but that’s part of the challenge!
- Friday albums should be ones newly released that day.
- It should be 366 different artists by the end of the year – no spending two months going through all the Fall and Guided By Voices albums I’ve never got round to. Doing an Oasis album and a solo album by Liam Gallagher, for example, would be acceptable though.
- The ideal way to do this would be to listen to and review one album every day, but I know myself well enough to know that that isn’t going to happen. In fact, I haven’t even started until January 7th, so I’m behind straightaway! I can guarantee there will be weekends when seven or eight reviews get bashed out in one sitting. And if I’m pushed for time, “It’s alright, I s’pose” counts as a review.
- There will be no marks out of 10 or any other ratings. I’m a music fan, not an assessor, so I’m here to discuss albums rather than grade them.
- I will try not to sound like a pompous arsehole. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s shit – it’s just not for me.
Above all, this should be seen as a journal first and a music review site second. The idea is to keep me listening to and writing about music, and to do it quickly and naturally. Reviews will often be retrospective and out of context, with no pretence of any real research into where they sit in an artist’s catalogue.
It’s also a personal record of what I was listening to and when. If it were the 1980s, it’s something I’d be scribbling into a notebook and stuffing in a drawer without anyone seeing it. Since it’s 2020 though, I might as well share it with the cyber world. If anyone reads it, great!