We’ve all made the greatest playlist ever. We’ve all been the first person to compile a playlist to which you can dance, cry, laugh, sing and fume; a playlist that puts you in all the moods, even moods you didn’t know existed; a playlist of all the genres, but only the best songs from each; a playlist that is seamless and complex and, if nothing else, unique — not like those basic playlists with selections from the TOP 100. And if there IS a top 100 song on your playlist, it’s the only good one out there. A playlist that elicits the same reaction from everyone: Who made this, and why haven’t I heard these songs before?
Sometimes it all begins when you find a really cool song. A song so cool that your current playlists seem… unworthy. This song can’t be added to ‘jams,’ ‘good shit,’ ‘throwbacks’ or even ‘best playlist,’ which had been a point of pride up until now.
No, you’ve stumbled upon one of those songs that requires careful placement, a song that none of your friends know but you bet they’d like to: a real gem. Maybe the song sits in your library for a few days, maybe just a few hours. You listen to it about 50 times, and then you decide: I will make the best playlist ever, and this will be the first song — he summary song, or tone setter, if you will, for the entire playlist.
From there, you scour your friends’ playlists and your enemies’ playlists, you make radios based on the song, you look for other overlooked masterpieces by the same artist. You listen frantically to half the song, maybe less, skip to the middle, skip to the bass drop, decide whether it’s good enough. Within 30 minutes, you have a brand-new playlist of 50 or so songs. Your eyes hurt from staring at your phone, and your neck is stiff because you’ve been tensely hunched over for so long. You can’t even differentiate between the last 15 songs you listened to. But it was SO worth it.
“Wow,” you think, “I’ll be that girl — the girl with the fire playlist.”
It’s time to stop, regroup, correct your posture, close your eyes and shuffle your biggest accomplishment to date.
The first song comes on; it’s an obscure remix of Rihanna’s “Consideration.” Mhm, you think. Obscure for a reason. Minor oversight. Delete.
Next: a David Bowie song to which you know exactly none of the words… jeez, you don’t even like it. Oh, you realize, this song is supposed to indicate my knowledge of the classics.
You don’t even bother to listen to the next song: Chainsmokers… What fire playlist has included a Chainsmoker’s song since “Smallpools?” It was added in an effort to appeal to multiple audiences. Justified. But, still, delete.
And then every single song you listen to after that is either a hollow remix, a lame instrumental (that tricked you with its sick album cover), a Tame Impala knockoff or a late 70s chart topper. Gross.
And then, finally, a good song. Great, actually. Wow, really really good. Where did you ever find this awesome piece? You pat yourself on the back — hey, maybe the playlist is a success after all — until you realize that this is the song. You know the one.