The yearly Spotify Wrapped is a rather upbeat affair, which doesn’t doesn’t quite match everyone’s mood this year. For the more sullen among us, there’s another option: a bot from The Pudding that will judge us for our crimes of listening to terrible music.
If you want to be judged, you open a page titled “How Bad is Your Spotify” and you log in with your Spotify account. (It might take a couple refreshes on the “Loading your music library” page.) This absolute jerk of an AI then drags you mercilessly while it pulls your playlists and top tracks. It asks you questions before it shows any results, in phrasing that gives the plain text the same aura as the girls who bullied me in middle school. Did you really listen to Clementine by Sarah Jaffe? (Yes) Like ironically? (No…)
The final judgement comes in the form of a multi-hyphenated phrase, followed by a page of loose statistics (I am apparently 24 percent basic). This stupid little computer program deemed my Spotify listens mason-jar-candle-from-target-craft-beer-snob-wet-ass bad. And you know what? It’s right. I listened to a frankly unholy amount of Hozier this year. Spotify Wrapped wanted me to be proud of that, but I’ve spent the year hating the fact that I was too bummed out and busy to actually seek out new and exciting artists.
The bot is not actually that personalized. It will ask everyone the same boilerplate questions in a snarky tone. But it still gave me the validation I didn’t know I craved. My music taste kinda sucks, but whose doesn’t? Who among us doesn’t love to listen to the same old tried-and-true songs that hit just right, even if they earn the scorn of our more pretentious friends? Please join me in this journey of shameless shamefulness, and find some joy in a well-earned roast.