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  • Writer's pictureMichael Bless

2020 Without Music

For the past couple of weeks you may have noticed that I haven’t exactly been writing my weekly review. I am sorry for this, as I am currently planning on making a top 50 or 25 albums of the year entry coming at the end of the year. I will not be doing another review on a newer release until the start of 2021, as not much is coming out by way of music for the next couple of weeks. Last week was a big week, but I’ve just kind of been recollecting everything that I heard (or even missed) in the year so I can have a year end list to share with everyone. The end of the year is always something that is exciting to me as a music fan, and may be a part of why I wanted to start this blog in the first place. I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks and sharing this list with all of you so you can see what I like, what stuck with me through the year, and maybe some things that I didn’t give much of a chance but really enjoyed enough to deserve a placement on this list.

2020 was a tough year for a lot of us, for obvious reasons. It’s a cliche at this point, I feel to talk about how hard of a year it is, but also, of course something that everyone experienced is going to be cliche. Some of us dealt with being locked out of our favorite activities in healthy ways, maybe by taking up a new hobby. Some of us may have dug into our own unproductive habits that we spent all of 2019 saying we were going to break. For me, this year has been eventful, yet uneventful at the same time. I got married this year! This should be the best year of my life, right? In many ways, maybe when all of the dust settles, I will look on this as the best year of my life. I mean, the biggest and my proudest achievement to date has taken place this year, but I still feel unsatisfied with what I have accomplished. I feel stuck at what I consider to be a dead end job, doing something I very much don’t enjoy, and I feel my college degree burning the biggest of holes in my pockets, but I am very excited to see what lays ahead of me. This all causes stress inside of me, and it's a stress I am not good at dealing with.

As humans, we look at time in a strange way. Instead of focusing on what we can currently be doing, we look at what has been taken away from us and become envious of what we once had, or maybe even of what people currently do have that we think they shouldn’t. I have thought about what I wish I could be doing more than I have been actually doing things that I can do at the moment. I have interests and things that can make me a better and more well thought out person, yet I sit on the ground, sad and don’t move towards these things that are right in front of me. I don’t think I’m the only one who is guilty of this.

The good thing about all of this is realizing we have a constant, something to grab onto no matter what. For me, like a lot of people, the things giving me comfort through this time alone is music. If music had been outlawed in the year 2020, I don’t know what type of person I would have become. I’m not making the claim that I would probably be dead, as that is probably a wild and extreme exaggeration, but there is something about the idea of familiar and new voices being gone that would really make someone question what they are really doing here on earth.

I think the reason music has helped me through all of this is because it does speak like an old friend, doesn’t it? Albums are like these one-way conversations that make us feel things that we may have never felt before. They give us tiny, CD sized holes to teleport through and hear someone else’s feelings and emotions, if only for a few minutes. It is a funny feeling, the emotion of being so well connected to someone who doesn’t know your existence, but this is the great thing about listening to music. I have gotten a little bit of this rush myself, having this blog. I have gotten to connect with so many different cool people who appreciate that I appreciate them, even if I give their works of art arbitrary scores that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I get to see where everyone views this tiny little blog from, and it puts these things into perspective. It doesn’t matter how many people listen to your music or read your blog. Even if one person so much as looks at it, you now have the chance of affecting what that person thinks about for the rest of the day, and maybe that one idea that you had makes someone else look deeper into themselves.

2020 has made me realize why I attach myself so much to the artform that is music. It’s that sense of discovery, both of something new to listen to and a discovery of self. For me, music in a lot of ways is a form of meditation, which may be a strange statement, since I tend to really like a lot more heavier or more experimental and wilder artists. I don’t believe meditation has to specifically mean that I personally feel calm after doing it. I think meditation is more focusing on something for a significant amount of time and feeling a change in state afterwards. If I feel more anxious after focusing on something, that is still meditation. Sometimes, the only time I actually feel alright is when I am listening to a new artist or an album that I haven’t listened to in years, and I love that.

People often state that 2021 is going to be better. To be honest, at this point, I don’t even know what better means. Even if I knew what better meant, I wouldn’t be so bold as to claim something like that, but I do know one thing; as long as we, as humans, have our constant obsession that we can grasp onto as our lifeblood, things will be okay. Don’t do it in an unhealthy way, but know that even when everything seems to be going wrong, truly, it isn’t, and we can hold onto something for that sense of comfort in a situation. For me, I think I will be carrying my love of discovering music, both old and new with me for a long time to come.

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