my spotify wrapped 2022
I've used Spotify for more than a decade now, and I don't recall there ever being a feature as popular as Spotify Wrapped. It's a stroke of design & marketing tailor-made for the social media age. When Wrapped 2022 dropped, my normally quiet chats were abuzz with screenshots of total listening time and top artists, tracks, and genres.
While I love sharing my Wrapped with others as much as anyone else (hence the reason for this post), what I find most fascinating about it is the kinds of insights I can glean about my listening habits.
For starters, although classical music has always been my favorite genre of music (in addition to being my introduction to music as a whole), it didn't claim the top spot on my Wrapped until 2020, the year the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. Since then, it's dominated my listening, claiming the top spot every single year. I can't say for certain what caused this shift, but I guess it mirrors a change in my environment. Going into quarantine meant trading hectic university life in a loud city for a quiet suburban one in my childhood home. With this switch came significantly less regular stimulation, and I found myself gravitating to classical music more since it was more amenable to my peaceful head space at home. I no longer need to listen to more stimulating genres like hip hop nearly as often, and when I do I find that I'm a lot more sensitive to the beats and the chaos than I used to be. My environment and lifestyle influence what I like to listen to far more than I previously anticipated.
The other lesson I've taken away from the top songs playlists Spotify Wrapped creates for me is that the songs I listen to most are rarely the songs I would say are my favorites. My favorite song this year came in at #4 on my list, behind three of Queen's most iconic hits. It's Nikolai Lugansky's rendition of Rachmaninoff's 10 Preludes, Op 23: No. 4, which is one of the greatest masterpieces I have ever heard. I can't help but stop and marvel at its beauty when I listen to it, which means that it's a terrible song for me to listen to when I work or drive. In addition, you can only enjoy the sheer dynamic range of classical music in relative quiet, so I opt for other genres when I'm out walking, driving, or flying.
Genre aside, listening to many my favorite songs feel like special treats, and hearing them too much would feel like having tiramisu for dessert after ever meal: I would get sick of them. The best pieces of art give me pause and make me think, and it's no different with music. Rachmaninoff's music always makes me want to sit outside somewhere silently and contemplate life. I even pulled over on the side of the road once to close my eyes and enjoy the endings to one of his concerti in peace. That's not the kind of music I can listen to on repeat.
That said, let's get to the good stuff: here are my 10 favorite songs I listened to this year.
- Mac Ayres's Alone with you (unfortunately not released on Spotify)
- Moritz Moszkowski's Piano Concerto in E major, Op. 59 (obscure but criminally underrated; I would rate this among the best piano concerti ever written)
- Queen's Love of my Life - Live in Argentina / June 1979
- Mon Laferte's Flaco
- Matisse's Un Nuevo Amor
- Bee Gee's Too Much Heaven
- 理想混蛋's 【不是因為天氣晴朗才愛你】 (no, I can't read that either)
- Young K's cover of Don McLean's Vincent
- Nathy Peluso's VIVIR ASÍ ES MORIR DE AMOR
For the eagle-eyed ones that noticed that there are only nine songs listed here, the tenth is the Rachmaninoff I mentioned earlier.
And my Wrapped, dominated by Queen (among some usual suspects) this year.