Do You Have Music A.D.D.?


Ever since the debut of streaming music I have been a victim of what I consider music A.D.D. I know that A.D.D. or Attention Deficit Disorder is a major issue for some people and I am certainly not making light of this condition, but when it comes to music and today’s streaming music outlets I do feel like I may have a form of music A.D.D. to some degree. In my high school days I remember learning about a new album release from a major artist that I liked by something like Circus Magazine or simply by going to the local record store and thumbing through albums by my favorite artists to see if there was anything new. That was how it happened and when you found something new you simply bought the album and hoped it was good. It is so different now and I can say that I both hate it and love it at the same time. 

This article has nothing to do with streaming services and how artists get paid by people who subscribe to these services. But, it does have to do with how much is available to us at any given moment in time and how we deal with this constant influx of music. 

Here’s my issue… I LOVE new music and I never want to miss out on any new album that I may really enjoy. Apple Music allows me to discover and listen to everything new on a regular basis. Is that a good thing? Yes… but… it also can be an overload sometimes and that can cause a major problem. 

I remember skipping school in 1986 to go to the local record store to by Metallica’s Master of Puppets album. I brought it home, dropped the needle on that record, pulled out the liner notes and lyrics and immersed myself in one of the best albums ever created. It was a magical moment, one that I had been anticipating eagerly for quite some time since I had read about its release date. The excitement of that day is simply gone now. 

Today I would have woken up in the morning only to find that the newest album from my favorite band would have been automatically downloaded to my iPhone without me having to do anything. I would look at it, maybe give it a quick run through and hopefully have some time to actually “listen” to it… probably not in its entirety at first. Maybe someday I would get to put some headphones on and listen from front to back. Maybe… But, I’m also talking the difference between being 15 and 50. There is a difference in your busy-ness level. 


Just in the past few days I’ve downloaded…

Queensryche – Digital Noise Alliance

Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number 9

King’s X – Three Sides of One

Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying… And, the Dead! 

Santa Cruz – The Return of the Kings

Lamb of God – Omens

Talas – 1985

Bush – The Art of Survival

Sammy Hagar and The Circle – Crazy Times

The Dead Daisies – Radiance


How am I going to find the time to give all of these albums a full listen?

Since we have so many new albums delivered to us on a regular basis do we really get to immerse ourselves in the enjoyment of a new a new album? I’m not sure that we do anymore. We need to find time to really concentrate on new music and to really listen to it. I have a friend who claims to be “old school” and doesn’t want to be a part of a streaming service. The funny thing is that I find new stuff that I think she’d like and I send her screen grabs of the artist and the album that I feel she should check out. She then goes and actually orders the CD and listens to it in her car or when she can and enjoys it. But, I’m (in a way) editing today’s music for her and suggesting stuff she may enjoy. It works but I am still the one with the streaming service. 

I miss the days of albums, with great album covers and all of the great liner notes to read when listening to a masterpiece from beginning to end. I am really happy that a lot of artists do release their new material on vinyl and they have gone back to the days of album covers and liner notes. It’s like photographers discovering film for the first time but still relying on digital imaging to share images. There is a major cross blending in both photography and music happening these days. 

Why do do I think that I have music A.D.D.? I think of it this way. I get so much new music delivered to me and available to me that it gets overwhelming. I may get five or six new albums all at once. I can’t possibly listen to all of them all the way through multiple times like in the past to really absorb all of the songs on each album. That means a great album may actually get mixed in with others that don’t stack up but it sort of gets lost in the shuffle. My music A.D.D. kicks in and I can’t stay concentrating on one album at a time to give it its due. Then I end up forgetting about a great album when another comes along in a short amount of time. I’ve downloaded so many new groups that I can’t remember all of them. I may really enjoy the album but I may actually forget the name of the group and can’t find it later!  It’s a real issue for me. 

One advantage to Apple Music for me is having access to pretty much anything at anytime. As I write this I am preparing to photograph Blackfoot tonight. I do know a couple of songs by them, especially “Train, Train” and “Highway Song” but I don’t know the whole catalog all that well. So, I searched for Blackfoot and downloaded a selection of top songs and I am now listening to them to get prepared for the show tonight. This is how a streaming service can help me… and I have discovered a whole new music by Blackfoot that I didn’t know before. 

What’s the answer? I don’t know. I think that we should all slow down and if we find something that we like we need to put the brakes on and simply give it a listen, multiple times. The point is to support your favorite bands and enjoy what you have. Try not to get overwhelmed in the process. And, listen with headphones… it slows you down and forces you to not be distracted by outside influences. Turn everything else off for a bit and simple listen. Focus on the music and not just keep it in the background. 

Don’t let music A.D.D. take over your listening enjoyment. Let the music sink in and simply enjoy! 


That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Rock on!