What a long, strange trip it’s been.
The initial idea of a couple of paragraphs on each album, followed by a recommendation to check out some related stuff, didn’t last beyond the first two or three posts. It was never likely to – those first few were typed on my old laptop while on vacation last summer, and that whole structure went out the window as soon as I got back behind my desk, with all the time and space I needed to research things, listen to things and remember all the stuff I wanted to talk about.
In the end, some of these are too long, and some are too short. I may revisit them over the next few weeks and months, especially the ones where I’ve spotted unfortunate typos (never proof read your own material, kids).
Will I bulk out the first few posts? Probably not; one of the key things about this whole project has been its spontaneity – I wrote what was in my head and moved on. It only took a few weeks for me to realise that what I really wanted to do was review every track as it came along, which led to a way of working which will seem crazy to any actual writers who may come across this.
Every Saturday, upon finishing that week’s post (spoiler alert: I was mostly writing about five weeks ahead, so I could build in a buffer for the Life Events happening around me), I started to think about the next one. I’d spend the week in idle moments planning the structure – whether it was to be an autobiographical post, or just a reflective one; whether I wanted to talk about the context of the album in its time, or about its place in my life, but once I had the basic structure planned out, and the hook for the post, I just sat down every Saturday morning and wrote.
Once I was happy with the context piece, I put the album on, and reacted to it in real time. If you’re wondering why some of these posts read like first drafts, it’s because – by and large – they are.
Which is, I know, crazy. So I may give some of them a polish. Only some of them, mind – others seem to work well in their immediacy, and I probably have spent enough time on this, if truth be told. All in all, it’s exceeded my expectations, this thing. It’s kept me occupied and writing at a time when I thought I might not ever write anything substantial again; it’s allowed me to see other people’s reactions to things, and it’s helped me contextualise parts of my life which I probably wouldn’t otherwise have done. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but remind me not to do this again in another ten years.