Music shuffle can be a glorious thing. It's a huge part of what makes having a digital library so great. It's good for moments when you don't quite know what kind of music will match your mood.
There has to be something hidden in your archive. Is all of your music that bad? You don't think so, but there you are, pressing the next button 20 times until something halfway decent comes through your headphones.
What a glorious feeling when shuffle has your back and serves up just what you needed the first try. High five, shuffle. However, there are some moments when shuffle doesn't totally have your back.
There are times shuffle puts that slow song on when you were in such a good mood, which coincidently seems to occur when you're too far away from your computer to press next. The thought of physically getting up to change the song is just preposterous.
Let's not even talk about the moment your party is popping until that slow ballad your aunt played during her knitting club comes on. Cue boos from your friends. Oh, shuffle. It's there in the best of times and in the worst of times. Most of the time, it serves up just another tune from your vast music library. But sometimes, shuffle gives you a song that's more than a song. It stops you in your tracks. It comes with a memory.
Once you hear the first note, you're taken to a different place. It could be a place that was the best of times or the worst of times. Music has one hell of a power. Shuffle controls some of that, too. Here are four times shuffle will stop you in your tracks:
1. The OMG So College Song
This is also the “I Don't Think I've Heard This Sober Before Song.” It's the one from freshman year that blasted on repeat in your dorm room while you were pregaming. When that first note came on over the house party speakers, everyone went nuts. Remember drunkenly screaming those lyrics on sweaty dance floors? What was the name of that guy you were dancing with?
That chorus brings you back to the good ol' college party days of cheap beer swooshing out of red cups and hungover breakfasts purchased with meal points. How did you survive? A couple of beers means a hangover these days. That song comes on and you say, "OMG, College."
2. The Punch Me In The Gut Heartbreak Song
Your heart skips a beat the second this song comes on. For a split second, everything pauses around you. Maybe it's been years since that breakup, and your heart has healed. Nevertheless, that first note streams into your ear, and there's still a faint punch to your gut. If that breakup is fresh, you'll feel like the air was knocked right out of you.
A memory with him or her is branded to the “Punch Me In The Gut Heartbreak Song.” Remember that time you were on cloud nine and that melody was playing? When you hear that chorus, it's as if you're holding hands with your former SO again. You're in the car with windows are rolled down, and the wind is going through your hair. This was your boo's song, and you're taken back to a time when it felt like nothing could go wrong between you.
Only it did, and shuffle just reminded you. You could press skip, but you don't. You listen to it.
3. The Hell Yeah Childhood Song
You need to have a couple childhood pop songs hidden in your music library. When that beat comes on, you remember every word. Dear Lord, that's what that song meant? My parents let me listen to this? You thought you were singing about lollipops and best friends, not sex and drugs.
You're walking down the sidewalk, and this track comes on. All of a sudden, you're dancing. Wait, you remember the moves to the dance you and your friends made when you were 10? How is that possible? You don't even remember what your Gmail password is. Regardless, you're bopping down the sidewalk AND reminiscing about your childhood crush who had cooties. Hell yeah, childhood.
4. Any Song From That Breakup Album
You played these songs a million times after that breakup. The lyrics were your partner when your partner was no longer there. Somehow that artist made tangible all those feeling you couldn't explain.
You cried your ugly cry to this album's anguished break-up track. From the confines of your dark cave of a bedroom, you wanted to scream, “Thank you, Adele, for getting me right now.” When you finally emerged from that cave, the upbeat “I Can Make It On My Own” track kept you company during the moments you craved sending a dumb text to your ex.
“Your life is going to suck without me,” you reason as you try to keep your sh*t together in public with that song blasting into your ears.
You have a love-hate relationship with these melodies every time shuffle serves one up. They're a reminder of a time you want to forget. They're a reminder of a BFF who never left your side. Damn you, breakups. Thank you, break-up albums. Regardless, thank you, shuffle.