I fear for the future of our great nation when I read articles like this one in the New York Times about wealthy folks who hire personal playlist designers to create aural wallpaper to match the decor in their homes. It’s this sort of conspicuous consumption whose deliberate waste and foolishness can’t be good for America’s image abroad or as qualifications for the elite who roam our corridors of power and lead us, at least by example. Are there really that many affluent and spoiled people among us that "personal playlist designer" is a viable career option? And who has so little faith in their own musical taste that they would hire someone else to pick their own mood music? I may not know much about art or design (and I’d love to be rich enough to hire an interior decorator to make those selections for me), but I certainly know what music I like. Musical taste is so personal and idiosyncratic that I can’t imagine letting anyone else pick the songs that make up my sonic environment each day. (Even the client cited at the end of the Times article knows that he wants Barry White (pictured) playing in his bedroom. But of course. So why does he need a consultant?) Hiring someone to make those decisions for you suggests that you simply don’t know who you are. Unless, that is, you know you are a frivolous person with money to burn.
More on personal playlists:
What’s your favorite song for getting in the mood?
The songs you want played at your funeral
Photo Gallery: 20 Hot New Songs for your fall playlist
PopWatch: iPod Inspection
A summer 2008 playlist