Dear 100 Hour Board,
Any highlights you'd like to share from your 2020 Wrapped on Spotify?
I listened to 470 hours of podcasts this year. That's 19 and a half full freaking days of podcasts. Were they all murder podcasts, This American Life, and Revisionist History re-listens? Yes.
And unsurprisingly, Coldplay was still my Top Artist. I think this will never change.
I've come to accept the fact that this is probably what my Wrapped will look like every year for the foreseeable future. Podcasts, Coldplay, and my "Intense Study" playlist on repeat.
I'm always happy to share music recommendations from the safety of an anonymous pseudonym!
Let's get started:
A genre so popular it's on there twice. That ought to tell you a little something about my music tastes. (Is there a difference between "Japanese video game music" and "Video Game Music?" Beats me. It sure isn't because of lyrics.)
This time, I actually 100% understand why AmaLee is #1--her new album Unity is pretty darned good. As we'll see. As a primarily cover artist, she's also way, way more prolific than typical artists so it ends up being a bit of a numbers game.
Of course the man behind the NieR soundtracks comes in at #2--more on that in a moment.
I only remember binging "LP" a couple of times--half of them to impress a crush over Discord--but apparently that was enough to break top 5, so maybe the childlike flush of puppy love has clouded my memory. Of course, the rest of it is exclusively from NieR. Gosh, the music for these games is just so darned good. Normally D&D sessions inflate my Spotify numbers a bit, but nothing in sight here--I really just listen to the same stuff that much.
You can already see this song at #1 up above, but you guys, this song is just so good. The eponymous Tower is the final locale of NieR Automata, and the original song features an ethereal background with beautiful vocals by Emi Evans and J'Nique Nicole. Normally I'm not huge on piano arrangements--I tend to be pretty picky about arrangements being repetitive or the mixing just not being super pleasant to listen to overall--but this particular version is an excellent transformative arrangement on the original, taking a song that was ethereal and otherworldly and making it somber and reflective--a different take, but one pretty well in keeping with the rather unhappy events that characterize the revelations hidden within the tower. This also found a place as my calming song to help deal with anxiety while I was working through health problems this summer, so it's far and away above everything else in terms of plays.
I'm kind of surprised that Fallen Angel beat out Weight of the World, but they're both really, really good covers. I honestly don't like anime themes generally or as a genre--so it should say something that AmaLee alone is responsible for "otacore" being in my top genres. Or maybe I'm lying to myself and I'm really just a sucker for anime themes anyway. What can I say? She sings really, really well.
There you have it.
Somehow my most listened to song was "Hundreds of Stories" from the In the Heights OBC recording. On one hand, that makes sense, because I was listening to that album a ton back in the before-times of late February/early March when I thought we were still going to have a normal summer and I wanted to be more familiar with In the Heights before the movie came out.
On the other hand..."Hundreds of Stories?" Really? I mean, it has the joke about Usnavi's name, which is fun, but otherwise it just kind of feels like a plot song that's pretty basic. Seeing as how I actively chose to listen to other songs on the album on their own, like "Breathe" or "It Won't Be Long Now" or "Paciencia y Fe," I'm really confused as to how "Hundreds of Stories" ended up on top.
-Frère Rubik was also in the top 1% of Carly Rae Jepsen listeners this year, a fact of which he is extremely proud