Before you listen, is a blog searching for a vocabulary to describe musical tastes.

It is motivated by a an experience that is probably familiar, that of listening to a song and thinking that the song is so obviously great that anyone listening to it should recognize that immediately. I can understand how someone might not like the song, if it isn’t their taste, but I would expect that they would recognize it as a substantial achievement.

This feeling usually leads to dissapointment. Playing that song for someone else, they are likely to nod somewhat appreciatively and look vaguely confused at the level of excitement.

Even more telling, when going back and listening to the same song at a different time, and in a different mood one can remember thinking that the song was great, but not find it as immediate and satisfying.

This blog is my attempt to describe what thoughts and moods particular songs resonate with, and to see if that description is a useful introduction to someone else listening to the song.


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