One of the things I've realized since starting this site is that there are a lot of different ways to enjoy music. Sometimes it's as an old favourite, something that you've known your whole life and enjoy because it it's familiar and it calls up fond memories, even if it was "before your time." Sometimes it takes the form of a new fixation: something that, when you discover it, you need to know as much of it as possible. A new favourite singer or band can do this, something that impresses you on every level, from songwriting to performance. I've been blessed, since starting this site, to find a lot of great items for that latter category, from Hollerado to the Hold Steady, Arctic Monkeys to Arcade Fire. Things that I can feel like I can love, but I didn't know about before 2010.
But you can't love everything. Everything can't be excellent, anymore than everything can be terrible. There are a million billion songs floating around the atmosphere right now, and there are reasons all of them got made, but sometimes that reason is just to make music. It becomes the music that fills the background of our everyday lives, that we don't think much about, that is pleasant enough when it's on but maybe not worth obsessing over, but that we still like to hear. I love the Foster the People album, but I don't think much about it when I'm not listening to it. Same with Phoenix. Imagine Dragons is a capable band, I don't need to listen to them when I get home from work but I haven't gotten to the point of turning them off if I hear them. This may also explain the appeal of Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men and the dozens of bands following that path, to those who aren't into it.
Not everything needs to be a 10/10 to be "good." I don't even have to recommend buying it for it to be good. That may sound, on the face of it, to be a shitty, cynical thing to say, but it's a realistic way to reconcile the fact that there are things you love and things you don't. I don't love Atlas Genius, but I like that it's floating around out there. I think this is perfectly fine music for a summer afternoon, and it will probably be blaring from car windows all summer, so I might as well.
I bought this album. I haven't unwrapped it yet, and I feel like if I do, I won't end up saying much more about it than I already have here. It's a passive pleasure. Some music is just like that, and it isn't the same for everyone, but I think we can all agree it exists. And that's not a bad thing.