For decades passenger vehicles sold in the United States have been equipped with a six-disc CD changer to supplement the stock radio unit. There have been other quantity CD changers, as many up to 100, but the most common type will hold SIX. I don’t know why this is, and it sounds like a difficult question to Google so I’m not going to bother, but this seemingly arbitrary number has certainly shaped the way I travel in that I always have to have the best selection of compact discs on hand.
In this digital age of portable audio devices and services like BandCamp and Amazon MP3, we have the ability to listen to almost anything at any time. But imagine you are confined to having only six albums around for your listening pleasure, for the next couple of weeks. What would they be? I’ll show you mine and explain each one. To prove that I hadn’t altered the selections prior to composing this article, I snapped a photo and obtained evidence that I am in fact, a poser:
- Lady Gaga – The Fame (2008): I’ve spoken multiple times about my fondness for her so here is proof that I was being authentic #noshame. Her first album isn’t my favorite, but here’s the thing: Lady Gaga seems to appeal to SO MUCH of the population, that statistically speaking I am able to satisfy most of the passengers who ride with me. This cost $5 used at the local FYE and the final song (“Summer Boy”) is worth the entire cost of the album alone:
- Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster (2009): This was the “Buy 2 used CD’s, get the third free” CD, slightly excusing me for having three out of six albums by Lady Gaga. Eight songs, most of them were played on the radio (some played to death, i.e. “Bad Romance”). Fun fact: The Fame Monster also includes a bonus disc that happens to be [drummroll]… her first album! So now I have two The Fame CD’s, anybody want one?
- Lady Gaga – Artpop (2013): Here we go, the belle of the ball. This album is really, really good and would be approaching all-time greatness… if only it lacked one rap-like song called “Jewels and Drugs”. Favorites include “G.U.Y.”, “Donatella”, and “Swine”; all sound fantastic with a good bassy sound system.
- Black Crown Initiate – Selves We Cannot Forgive (2016): Oh boy, let’s just call this one my “one regret of the collection”. I was all about The Wreckage of Stars (2014) and enjoyed seeing them live, but this album takes them in a direction that I do not approve of. It’s a little slower, moodier, and more melodic; things many fans will soak up. But not this guy. I have tried it a few times, listened with an open mind, but it fails to grip me. But considering the game, I am stuck with this in my player for a while; perhaps I will come to like it over time?!
- Dormant Ordeal – We Had It Coming (2016): Lacertilian told you all about this lovely Polish death metal band a few months ago, so I won’t recite previously said praise here and waste your time. Well, I’ll recite a small amount:
For an unsigned band such as this, We Had It Coming is of superb quality. The musicianship, the production and above all, the songs themselves are all solid as fuck. There’s not a great deal here that I can fault. As Decapitated wane towards a groove-based lower energy state late in their career, a group of young satellite bands like Dormant Ordeal appear from their black shadowed umbra and show that Poland still kills.
Dormant Ordeal had posted a great (or)deal on their Bandcamp site: purchase a CD of the new album We Had It Coming and receive a free copy of their previous album. They received my money and I received an album worthy of holding a spot in the six-disc changer for a period of time that has yet to be determined! Please listen to “Sleeping Grounds” right now because it is an easy 5/7:
- Aborted – Retrogore (2016): Most of my music purchases are from smaller bands via Bandcamp, but every now and then I will really dig a band who is popular enough for FYE to stock physical copies of their material, and Aborted happens to be one of them. This highly-polished death metal album isn’t going to gain them any fans, or lose them any: it’s standard, albeit well-crafted, modern death metal. Purchasing this album was a safe bet, as I still love jamming it loudly with the windows down (passers-by be damned).
Those are the six CD’s that I am stuck with in my car, for who knows how long. For your scenario, apply the same rules. Share with us six albums that you would take with you for the next month, if they were the only things you could listen to in that span of time. The reasons are up to you (hopefully they’ll look less embarrassing than mine), but you do have to explain each one. We’ll catch up again and talk about our choices.