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Judge John Hodgman on How to Listen to a New Music

Greg writes: I was driving my wife and our dog home, and my wife put on the new Coldplay album. She loaded it up on her phone and put it on “shuffle.” I find this unacceptable. Please order that when listening to a new album, the songs must be played in order.

Thanks for writing, “Greg” — or should I say Chris Martin of Coldplay? I normally don’t let celebrities hijack this column to buzz-market their stuff, but there are important fake legal issues at work here. One piece of settled law in my courtroom is: People like what they like. Insisting that there’s a correct way to experience songs is Bad Boyfriend Music Snobbery 101. You are married. You have a dog. You listen to Coldplay. You’ve outgrown this. But equally settled is: The driver chooses the music. So in this case, you were within your rights to ask to listen to this “Music of the Spheres” from start to finish. (You’re welcome, Chris.)

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