Spotify Wrapped: a Blessing or a Curse?


Luke Leiden

While some may proudly flaunt their Tyler-topped Wrapped on social media, others with less-refined taste are forced to take more drastic measures.

It’s that time of year again: Spotify Wrapped 2020. The music streaming service’s interactive recap that highlights users’ top artists and songs for the year has finally arrived. While a select few may gladly celebrate its highly anticipated release, eager to share their superior taste in music on social media, the majority of users are less excited, seeing it only as a permanent reminder of times we’d rather forget.

Spotify Wrapped is absolutely a blessing for those content with their music feedback and analysis, providing well-attuned playlists that serve as incredible time capsules of songs and podcasts that make up each year. Given music’s innate ability to preserve experiences, these curations can be extremely useful, packed with nostalgia and memories of the good days. Plus, it’s always fun to flex how big of a fan you are of some of your favorite artists, with many taking to Instagram to share how they were in the top 0.05 percent (or 0.000001 percent in some cases) of listeners for their top artist. 

But for those who went through a Hamilton/HSM/depression/etc. phase during these past few months of the pandemic, these playlists instead act as concrete records of the lowest points of our lives. I cannot describe how unexpected and disheartening it can be to see that WAP has made it into your top five songs of the year, despite all of your best efforts. For upperclassmen, Spotify Wrapped from 2016 and 2017 are particularly notorious for serving as brutal reminders of our worst moments, filled to the brim with jams from seventh and eighth grade that many, myself included, would take to the grave without hesitation. 

Spotify Wrapped can also ultimately be unrepresentative of someone’s true taste in music. Those who listen to music while studying or to relax are particularly at risk, with many recently finding themselves dismayed at the fact that their top song of the year was a Mario Kart soundtrack or “Box Fan Sound Loopable Hour.” This year, in particular, many users are suspicious of the data provided by the service, with some being told they listened to over 1000 genres despite having three songs on repeat for months.

Whether or not it was met with rejoice or displeasure, as long as you received a Wrapped in your inbox, you are superior to those with Apple Music or, God forbid, Amazon Music, whose year was concluded with inaccurate and unattractive lists of songs, if anything at all. In the profound words of Fiona Goode, “Even the weakest among us [Glee fans I’m looking at you], are better than the rest of them.”

At the end of the day, there’s not much you can do if you don’t like your Wrapped, except try again next year and pray your taste in music improves. And in the future, before you hit play on “All I Want” for the fifteenth time that day, remember Spotify Wrapped is always watching…