There are three kinds of people in the world. Those who love music, those who like music, and those who do not enjoy music. That last category does not concern us. People who do not enjoy music of any form, who claim outright to dislike music, are quite the mystery in and of themselves, but let us talk instead of the differences that arise between those who love music, and those who merely like music.
A music lover will hear a new song and, if the song strikes their fancy, will then proceed to seek out more of that artist/group's music. Enjoying that, a music lover will keep an eye out for more and more of that person's music, as long as it continues to entertain them. They actively seek more, eventually amassing some type of collection of that artist/group's music. This process may take years and can allow that artist's music to become a deep and meaningful part of someone's life.
A person who merely “likes” music, as opposed to loving it, will hear a song that strikes their fancy, fall in love with it, listen to that one song constantly, suck every bit of juice out of it until it is as desiccated and tedious as a song can get, and then move on to the next tune that happens to hit their ears. Some effort may be made towards seeking more music from the same artist, but usually, once it is seen that the other songs do not sound like the one that hit them hard, that person is willing to move on to a new tune. This method of ingesting music can create some very strong sense/time memories, due to the overload of the music on the brain over such a short and intense period of time.
Once a music lover has exhausted the available music of a given artist/group, they will then investigate further. Are there other bands that sound similar, or have the same vibe whose music may be good too? Maybe this band was influenced by some musician previously unknown to you? Have these musicians ever played in other groups? Questions such as these allow for new music to expand the musical map in a music lovers brain. Previously unseen connections are brought to light. Sometimes a certain recording may become more meaningful to you, and others may lose some of their luster when compared to previous acts. One never knows what will arise but there is always more to explore. This creates a deep connection between the music lover and the musicians involved, as their individual contributions are explored and analyzed.
The “Liker” of music does not concern themselves with any of this. Instead of looking for more music by the group that made the song they heard and loved the “Liker” waits until his sources provide him with a new tune by that artist. These sources can range from their favorite radio station, to their favorite nightclub, from friends to the television. And, if the next song that comes down the pike is a stinker? No problem, because the “Liker” is not personally invested. There are more songs every day. Because the “Liker” does not actively expand their mental sonic map as the music lover does he never develops personal connections to the creators of the music itself, just to the individual songs. If an artist has a lot of hits then the music “Liker” will feel a bigger connection by virtue of exposure. Otherwise, they move on to the next hit by the next artist. Either way, the names and careers of the musicians involved in crafting the hits are unimportant, and do not factor in the “Liker's” enjoyment of the songs they like.
A music lover becomes more willing to accept musical risks taken by their favorites. They would expect nothing less. Solo records are seen as an intimate view into one member of a favored musical group. In an odd irony, music lovers also appreciate any artist who fiercely maintains one style as their own through the ever-changing musical fadscape. In other words, a music lover accepts what a musician gives them on the musician's terms. Of course it is judged and examined and compared but it is given a fair shake.
Music “Likers” sometimes infuriate music lovers because they see no value in the deeper analysis, which to them seems like an obsession with the unimportant parts of music. The “Likers” love the songs, and will love the songs forever. Music lives in the moment, more so than most other art forms. Recorded music is not music until it is vibrating the air through some mechanism or other. It is to be enjoyed in the moment, to be danced to, to serve as the background to life. This is a different and quite valid joy, but it does not allow for one's brain to interact with the minds making the music, only to react.
There is no correct way to enjoy music. There are only more ways to enjoy music. Everyone begins as a music “Liker.” Even people who consider themselves musically sophisticated originally just listened to what they liked and sought nothing more. Liking music is the first step to loving music. It is not always easy to be a music lover, and a lot is asked of you if you are one, but like all things, the reward is as great as what is put into it. Music is humanity’s best friend and deserves to be loved.