Pulled the Pin

I finally got around to ordering a bunch of new music CDs, including Stereophonics‘ most recent album, Pull the Pin. In the process of doing so, I made a few interesting discoveries:

  • For purchasing a single CD, it is now essentially cheaper for me to order CDs online and have them shipped (even with a $3 shipping and handling charge per CD) than to drive to a music store and purchase it. A combination of my car’s mediocre fuel economy and, bizarrely, the lack of decent record stores close-by in one of the more densely populated regions of the country, are responsible for this.
  • It is much, much faster to browse by artist online than it is in a store. Additionally, since you can get audio samples of CDs online, the old advantage of being able to preview CDs in-store vanishes.
  • The only area where brick-and-mortar CD shopping still makes a lot of sense is if you are either buying a lot of CDs at once, or if you are just browsing for random things. Since many of the bands I like do not get wide/timely releases in the US, the “day 1 advantage” of buying things in a store is essentially gone.

As far as the album goes, I have to say it’s not as strong as the previous album (Language. Sex. Violence. Other?). The album is pretty front-loaded, with the latter half being fairly drab. Also, Bank Holiday Monday is so Oasis-inspired as to be almost tacky (compare the choruses to this and Bring It On Down and see if you don’t agree). But hey, it’s not too bad, so I’ll sit back and enjoy it while I wait for the rest of my newly-ordered CDs to arrive in my mailbox…

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  1. The only area where brick-and-mortar CD shopping still makes a lot of sense

    … is also if you’re trying to support a local independent store.

  2. Well, that doesn’t rate as part of my purchasing decision (or does so well down the list of other factors, such as price and the condition of the merchandise). However, it so happens that many of the best deals to be had on Amazon Marketplace and similar sites are in fact listings from independent music sellers. So, as hard as it may be to believe, sometimes the invisible hand of capitalism works in favor of the little guy.

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