Spotify Wrapped 2018: An Introspective Unboxing

It’s here, guys.

The Spotify Wrapped release date is one of my favorite days every year, 2018 being no exception. I get to dive into my own psyche and try to put together the puzzle that is my life. Who am I based on what I listen to? What does this list say about me? Could the trajectory of my top hits be an indicator as to where I’m headed next?

An incomplete puzzle. There’s never enough pieces in that box.

So even though I fail to make any profound realizations about myself every year, it’s still fun grasping at straws. And this year, I decided to do things a little differently. Before “unboxing” my Spotify data, I’m placing bets.

My 2018 Spotify Wrapped Predictions:

Top 5 Artists:

1.) Jimmy Eat World
2.) Linkin Park
3.) Bastille
4.) Kodaline
5.) Waterparks
*Dark horse: Death Cab For Cutie

Top 5 Songs:

1.) “Waiting For The End” – Linkin Park
2.) “Such Great Heights” – The Postal Service
3.) “IN MY REMAINS” – Linkin Park
4.) “Kill” – Jimmy Eat World
5.) “Change My Mind” – The Summer Set
*Dark horse: “Quarter Past Midnight” – Bastille

And now… drum roll please…

The Unboxing

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 7.23.36 PM

Actual Spotify Top 5 Artists:

1.) Jimmy Eat World
2.) Linkin Park
3.) Kodaline
4.) Waterparks
5.) Keane

Actual Spotify Top 5 Songs:

1.) “IN MY REMAINS” – Linkin Park
2.) “Waiting For The End” – Linkin Park
3.) “Such Great Heights” – The Postal Service
4.) “On The Loose” – Niall Horan
5.) “Don’t Take The Money” – Bleachers

Okay. So I got a lot right. I’m not really surprised by these results. Maybe a little embarrassed that “On The Loose” by Niall Horan is that high. In my defense, the bass line got to me. I couldn’t not listen to it through my car’s bass-boosted speakers every time I was driving.

Alright, I lied. I’m a little surprised. “Change Your Mind” by The Summer Set has been my most listened to track every year since this Spotify thing came out. Is it my favorite song? No. But it’s a good time.

Here’s the thing about Spotify Wrapped. You gotta take it with a grain of salt. I do a great deal of listening on my phone’s lowly Music app. Thousands of songs, commercial and data free.

Which is why I went into this year with a “clean slate” on iTune’s song count tracker so I could pull together my own version of this chart.

iTunes Results

itunes tops.png

iTunes Top 5 Artists:

1.) Jimmy Eat World
2.) Bastille
3.) OneRepublic
4.) Waterparks
5.) Gorillaz

iTunes Top 5 Songs:

1.) “The End is Beautiful” – Jimmy Eat World
2.) “Pol Roger” – Jimmy Eat World
3.) “Change Your Mind” – The Summer Set (I knew it)
4.) “TANTRUM” – Waterparks
5.) “Watching As I Fall” – Mike Shinoda

See what I mean? We’ve got three newcomers in the mix if we add the other data, to say nothing of the CDs I’ve got on rotation in my car stereo. Let’s just say that Mike Shinoda would be every song on the Top 5 list if we included those numbers.

I must confess – I’m a little relieved to see Bastille representing so hard on the anti-streaming front. Love those guys.

Here’s what’s interesting about these two sets of lists.

I have always claimed Coldplay as my favorite band. It’s a loyalty thing. It’s like a favorite sports team. You don’t leave it and jump ship, no matter how much the lineup changes, no matter how much you, yourself, change. You stick by them.

I’m fiercely loyal to many things in my life. Coldplay is one of them. But the numbers don’t lie.

Maybe 2019 is the year I admit that Coldplay might not be my favorite band anymore. Maybe 2019 is the year I admit that there’s a band that speaks more to my soul than any other musician could ever hope to.

Or maybe this will stay our little secret, between the five of you who will read this, and myself.

So tell me. What were your tops this year?

(I’ve included my Spotify-provided Top 100 playlist below. Take a gander, have a listen. Browse the site. Click on posts that aren’t the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge list. Spread the wealth, people.)

Dan Smith featured image courtesy of Pistenwolf, Jim Adkins image courtesy of Antje Naumann, with editing by Nicole Metzler.

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