If you listen to Internet radio, which service best serves your listening needs most of the time?
Largely because I haven't ventured far from where I've lived since early January, Amazon music - the service set up in this house - has been my main musical diet for over two months. If this Internet music provider happens to be your preferred source - and you're happy with it - best to skip at least the next paragraph. I miss Pandora desperately and can't wait to escape my current musical purgatory.
Yes, I know if I'd made a small effort, it could have been easy to switch to Pandora for the time I would be living here. But until last night - on the drive to/from my home, listening to Pandora - I didn't fully realize how subpar Amazon music is. The song selections - no matter how I phrase my request to Alexa (by year, artist, genre) - are repetitive and unimaginative in the extreme. Often, the same overplayed song appears in a cycle, no matter my request. For example, requesting either "Music from the Seventies" or "Elton John", invariably dredges up Dreams - that obnoxious Fleetwood Mac two chord drone - within a few tunes. Worse, any request for music from the 70s also serves up at least two AC/DC screeches - usually the same bad songs - which is one or two too many. I could go on, believe me; it's been semi-torturous.
On the other hand, the scrolling screen of lyrics that accompanies Amazon Music via Alexa has delivered a lyrical epiphany. Working assiduously at writing my own lyrics for fifty years has taught me who the great models are - Jackson Browne, Don Henley & Glenn Frey, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Stephen Sondheim. And when a nugget from Desperado - "You better let somebody love you before it's too late" - is followed seconds later on the same screen by nonsensical tripe, I am again reminded how important it is to continually work on my craft.
If good lyrics thrill you - and inane ones annoy you - and you use Amazon, let me suggest you switch off the scrolling Alexa screen for most of the time. Might give you more pleasure enjoying the music or feel of songs you love - even overplayed ones - without seeing lyrics accompanying those same songs. Trust me on this.