>  umm..I don't think that anyone can be fond of an entire CD, as in
>thinking that every song is equal to the next in perfection..Maybe, I'm
>being too harsh, but it is so rare to almost entirely love a CD..I can
>only think about maybe 4 or 5 that are that good..& I don't even listen
>to them that often..Oh, but, I do recommend Soda Stereo to everyone and

I went and looked at my most favorite CDs, and I sort of agree, and
sort of don't.

I can't really think of anything broken up into sections, made up
of smaller parts, you know, where I like each part as much as the
others. This includes albums, books, movies, TV series, etc.
I could get picky about smaller units, but I think there are plenty
of songs that I love all the way through, that I wouldn't change -
the kind that get put on repeat for hours straight. On the other
hand, for other modular-type things, I don't think they're so
uniformly great. My favorite poem is two lines long, so there's
not much room for "weak parts." Another of my favorites is in
fractured sonnet form, and by that length I find myself LOVING
the beginning but not the end. Same sort of deal with books and

Which makes me think it has to do with familiarity, both with
the works and the media. My three favorite albums are Low's
_The Curtain Hits the Cast_, and two from Miles Davis, _Kind of
Blue_ and _Bitches Brew_. At the moment the only record I can
think of that I'd say I love all the way through, more or less equally,
is _Kind of Blue_. I think the other two are great, amazing, but
I'm drawn more to some parts of them than others. For instance,
I think "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down," from the second disc of
_Bitches Brew_, is amazing, but I'm somehow still more endlessly
fascinated by the title track. Or, last night walking home I listened
to the Low album, and I was struck (don't know if I ever noticed
it before) how similar "Standby" seems to "Coattails," which precedes
it. I'd always sort of listened to it and loved it, without really
taking much note of it; "Coattails" is much more dramatic. Once
I realized they had similar structures (though "Standby" has no
tympani and it's somehow less... regal), I thought "Standby" was
less good. That's kind of like the difference between a blonde and
a brunette to a nymphomaniac, though.

The difference between these and _Kind of Blue_ is that I've had
it for much longer, listened to it more. I have occasional
short-term preferences (I'm just coming off a kick of thinking
"Flamenco Sketches" is the best thing on it), but those pass,
and I'm left in wonder at the entire thing. I'm not this familiar
with any other work of art, I think; if I am I don't realize it
because I don't think the other one is as good.

So, that's the "sort of agree" side. On the other hand, I don't
know if loving a longer work like an album, made up of shorter
things that are more or less independent (i.e. they might have
meant me to listen all at once, but I've got a fast forward,
so...), "entirely" is really how it works in the first place.
Here's an idea: what "album" and "song" mean is more than just
the obvious differences, which I might crudely sum up as "takes
up a single track in my CD player's catalog" (though some of
my CDs screw that up - oh well, bear with me). That they mean
different things, is evident from the different forms of life,
the different activities, that we associate with them. So like
you said above, we listen to songs to exercise by, or when we
just want the _best_ moments, and so on. When we want more variety -
say on the radio or an MP3 playlist. Albums have different activities
associated with them - we might settle in more when listening, or
pay more attention (or less!); we apply different standards.
I almost never listen to "Symphony Space" from Spiritualized's
_Lazer Guided Melodies_ by itself - it's sort of six minutes of
floaty, ethereal drone. But during a listen to the album, it
makes it even better. That sort of thing.

"Liking" albums and "liking" songs are two different, but related,
things. Thank you Captain Obvious. I guess I knew that before, but
the "related" part got me a bit more muddled than I wanted to be.
So for a while I'll be muddled in the other direction.