Spotify Wrapped represents the atomization of the consumption of art and its subjection to the ideals of neoliberal identitarianism.
Music used to be a form of existential exploration and truth-seeking, serving as a unitive force amongst peoples and societies. This was more apparent when music could only be heard when played live, usually in a communal setting.
Even recorded music had a communal element in the beginning, whether it was by purchasing music in a store alongside other listeners, or listening to public platforms like the radio.
Now, thanks to streaming apps, one can access music in absolute isolation, without having to leave their beds or engage with other human beings.
Spotify Wrapped transforms music from a form of soul-searching or making statements about the universal human experience to a mere form of one’s personal identity, an embodiment of one’s individual tastes and predilections.
Featuring graphics about how YOUR music taste reflects YOUR mood and YOUR “skincare regime,” and that encourages you to share YOUR results with others on social media, music is no longer a provocation to reflect upon the human condition and bring about greater unity with others.
It is yet another product to be mass manufactured and consumed, all under the guise of enabling you to further express yourself, ad nauseum.