Wrapped up in music and me

At least we're vibing on the road to insanity. The post Wrapped Up in Music and Myself appeared first on The American Conservative.

Two types of people post their “Spotify Wrapped” results each year. This is a summary of their listening habits that year on Spotify. One type of poster shares their results on social media in genuine excitement to show their musical tastes to their followers. Ironically, the other person posts their results, aware of the banality and cringing at the fact that they have succumbed to the trend, and accompanies the post by a self-deprecating caption or sardonic caption.

This year has been particularly difficult for me as someone who falls under the second category. I find myself in a conflict between my giddy excitement at the inevitable pop-up when I open Spotify on November 30th, and my cloying cynicism about why all of this really matters. My paradoxical scoffing at all the Wrapped posts that appear on my social media feed is what plagues me. I also wonder with an uncontrollable curiosity about my friends’ listening habits. I ask myself, “Who cares about what you’re listening too?” Being fully aware of the answer, I declare to myself: I care about what other people are listening and I want you also to care.


It’s not necessarily superficial or vain to share the music you like with friends. Music is an intrinsically communal art form. It has been used to bring people together throughout history in many different settings. Spotify Wrapped is so disgusting because it inverts the experience listening to and sharing music. It reduces it to something self-referential, and therefore dreadfully boring.

Spotify said last year that my “audio aura” moods were energy and bold. This year’s categories were more complex (but equally confusing), drawing from popular Twitter/Tumblr categories. My mornings consist of “giving” “Fancy Royalcore Cozy” suggestions while my afternoons include “Confident Lit Hype” and my evenings include “Mystical Z Gothic.”

Spotify Wrapped is a fitting solution for our age of atomized identities. The question of who I am has less to do the experiences, people, places, and traditions that I have had in my life and the higher values and ideals that I strive to achieve. It is more about my ” tribes” and the moral causes that catch my eye.

More than anything identity has become a matter “vibes.” These ephemeral elements that we now use to construct our identities are often detached from any notions of rootedness in entities or entities before us. They are not integrated with my ontological nature or my daily experience, making it difficult for them to be shared with others in meaningful ways.

Inadvertently, the new feature of Listening Person sheds light on what draws us to music. As a personality test, I am told that I am “The Adventurer” and that I “venture into the unknown, seeking out new artists and tracks. This feature of “https://mashable.com/article/spotify-wrapped-2022-listening-personality”>Listening Personality/a> sheds light on what draws us to music. Music is a powerful tool to “venturing into the unknown” and “seeking” something more. However, reducing our musical tastes to “vibes,” auras, and abstract identity categories reduces this search.


John Waters, an Irish music journalist, writes that “Latter-day Pop Culture” has “forgotten” that Blues and Gospel are the origins of most contemporary musical forms. These forms stretch the true note between human habitation’s muddy deltas and the shining firmaments above. Spotify Wrapped is a way to increase the impact that music has on our souls. It reduces it to entertainment and showbusiness.

He continues: “When the singer opens their mouth, a vital process takes place: a stirring in hearts and souls.” We resort to technicalities and cliches when describing it. “Soulfulness” is a term that refers to the ability to feel, but the meaning of the word doesn’t seem to be clear. We recognize the existence of “passion” but don’t know what it is for. This leaves us “in a dilemma,” as music points to something “of heavens”, yet we are “not permitted to understand or believe it.”

Spotify applauded me in 2019 for my ability to “disappear” borders when I listen music–for being “World Citizen” (I heard music from 41 countries). Spotify also praised my “genre fluidity”, which I refused to allow one sound to define me. I don’t care if such statements are ridiculed, but I cannot deny the joy I felt when I discovered that one of my top five songs was in the global top 5, my top two songs were in the top five and my number 1 album was the most listened to worldwide.

The illusion that I am linked to a community of fans that encompasses the entire globe gave a sensation of pseudo-transcendence. This is the propaganda of elite global capitalism. The idea that we can find fulfillment by supporting social causes and standing with others around the globe, as well as consuming diverse cultural products, is fed to us. However, the truth is that I only like music that sounds good.

In real life, my triumphs at crossing cultural boundaries look like me driving to work or sitting in my car listening to my music. I am just an average consumer, who is far from being a moral exemplar or social revolutionary, but continues to support monopolizing corporations such as Spotify that destroy the last remnants of moral and cultural substance of our society.

We can allow ourselves to believe that “genre fluidity”, somehow, is a virtue. This distracts us from the mundane of our lives and from the fact we aren’t “taking a position” for any significant moral causes. Nor are we doing anything noteworthy. Many of us use our music to drown out the feeling of powerlessness and despair that plagues us. The very tool that could prompt us to search for a deeper meaning is quickly turned into a distraction tool, allowing the search to be “short-circuited”.

You are probably all eager to find out which songs, artists, and genres made it into Spotify Wrapped. But, more importantly, I want you all to know my results. The powers that be will continue to homogenize the world regardless of what music we like. We will either follow the crowd, our music numbing and distracting us, or we will “dance” to the beat of the drums.

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