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MIT blogger Ankita D. '23

an album a day by Ankita D. '23

the only new year's resolution i've ever completed

in 2022, I challenged myself to listen to an album every day. I thought this would be a good idea because I enjoy the entire process of listening to music: looking for new songs/albums, actually listening to them,  and organizing any noteworthy finds into one of my 150+ carefully curated Spotify playlists.

I was, however, a bit hesitant about the prospect of consuming 365 new albums in a year. what if I found it tedious and fell 100 albums behind by June? would I really be able to devote time to listening to an album every single day? as a voracious playlist listener, I had my doubts.

spotify playlists

unrelated but…can we talk about this? AI-generated playlists are starting to freak me out

there also was the issue of my last attempt at a New Year’s Resolution. in my junior year of high school, I devoured Ready Player One a few days into the new year and had an epiphany that pleasure reading was the greatest thing ever, or something. having rediscovered my love for reading, I decided to embark on the Goodreads Reading Challenge, setting my goal at 120 books. I ended the year at a whopping 148.

it was actually insane. looking back at the books I read, I see a lot that I remember vividly and still love: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Brave New World, Little Fires Everywhere, Educated, Circe, The Goldfinch. but there are a few that I consumed way too quickly and have a meager recollection of. I was so eager to check off my next conquest that I spent minimal time thinking about them, and as a result could you offer little more than a two-sentence synopsis. for example, Thinking Fast and Slow, a renowned tome that delves into the intricacies of how humans think, and Being Mortal, which discusses mortality and aging in grisly detail, are incredible books that I have no choice but to reread someday.

thankfully, listening to an album is a lot less committal than reading an entire book. you can, and often have to, listen to it more than once, anyways. that’s why I can reflect on my year of music with few regrets!


best overall

  • KIWANUKA – Michael Kiwanuka
  • Automatic – Mildlife
  • Bon Voyage – Melody’s Echo Chamber
  • Revolver – The Beatles
  • We Will Always Love You – The Avalanches
  • Gemini Rights – Steve Lacy
  • Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers – Kendrick Lamar
  • The Age of Adz – Sufjan Stevens

best albums to work to

  • Sparks – Chrome Sparks
  • Summer’s Over – Jordana, TV Girl
  • Canale Paesaggi – Post Nebbia
  • Ice Melt – Crumb
  • The Symposium – The Symposium

most pleasantly surprising

  • MASSEDUCTION – St. Vincent
  • Multitude – Stromae
  • Heaven to A Tortured Mind – Yves Tumor
  • Moon Safari – Air
  • South of Reality – The Claypool Lennon Delirium
  • The ArchAndroid – Janelle Monáe

most bangers

  • RENAISSANCE – Beyoncé
  • CRASH – Charli XCX
  • Slut Pop – Kim Petras
  • SOS – SZA

best classics

  • Remain in Light – Talking Heads
  • IGOR – Tyler, the Creator (yes this is a classic)
  • The Stranger – Billy Joel
  • The Doors – The Doors

so…let’s get one thing clear: I didn’t listen to an album every day. some days, I’d play catch up and would listen to 3-5. I tried to listen while showering, cooking, cleaning, or doing some similarly ambient activity. I did my best not to listen while studying or psetting, since it’s hard to focus on what you’re hearing if you’re in grind mode. sometimes, I couldn’t help it…there’s only so much ambient time in the life of an MIT student

you might wonder how I found over 365 albums to listen to. surprisingly enough, it was easy; I had a backlog of several, asked my friends for recommendations, perused and Reddit, and pored over dozens of Spotify playlists. the albums for my Beatles class were built into this process, and the albums I hadn’t heard by my all-time favorite artists were obviously on the table as well. I would save 10 at a time to my library so I didn’t overwhelm myself.

in terms of tracking music, I was too lazy to develop a rating system, so I’d just add a song I liked from the album to a playlist. if I ended up not liking an album, I wouldn’t bother adding a song.

the playlist above has songs from my favorite albums. notice how there are 103 songs, which is 28% of the music of the year’s playlist! it seems like an overly high proportion of music to enjoy, but when I think about how often I’d select for genres and artists I like, it makes more sense.


when I compare the playlist of my favorites to the playlist of all 365 songs, it’s interesting to see how similar the two are. I was expecting a skew towards certain genres in the shorter playlist, but it seems pretty representative! even in terms of mood, the two are quite alike:


47 / 47


54 / 49


54 / 54


66 / 65


119/200  / 123/200

Top Sub-Genres (Favorites)

neo-psychedelic 3%
rock 3%
indie rock 3%
art pop 2%
indie garage rock 2%

Top Sub-Genres (All)

rock 4%
neo-psychedelic 3%
indie rock 2%
rap 2%
alternative rock 2%



  1. actually doing something all year is really satisfying. it also gives you something to look forward to. is this how people who go to the gym every day feel?
  2. listening to albums regularly helps you appreciate music more and listen more deliberately. there’s a colossal difference between listening to albums and putting on a random playlist Spotify generates for you. not all albums are cohesive, but when you find the ones that are, it’s a dope experience!
  3. getting through an entire album exposes you to music you’d never hear on a “This is..*artist*” playlist, for better or worse. don’t be fooled by low listener counts, they don’t mean the song isn’t worth listening to!
  4. pushing myself out of my comfort zone did wonders for my music taste; I’ve found countless new sub-genres I love. the music I listened to this year was more diverse in a lot of ways.
  5. mindful music listening was great for my mental health!

if any of this sounded interesting to you, you should give it a try. not all albums have to be two-hour long experimental projects you’d find on some niche r/music thread. listen to whatever makes you happy!

would I do this again? definitely yes, but not this year—I’m a bit burnt out. I think I’ll aim for 150 or so. there’s so much music out there that I’m invigorated by the idea of hunting down 365 more albums, but for the sake of my sanity, I’ll save it for another year. I’ll be satisfied as long as I spend 2023 finding new music often!

so…send your recommendations my way :)