The Uncomfortable Gender Politics of “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection”

Cohabitation: it’s an endless series of compromises, all supposedly worthwhile in the name of true love and cheaper rent. We don’t just share our homes and beds with our spouses and significant others — we also share a lifetime’s worth of possessions, and the obsessions that drive us to amass them. That is, perhaps, one of the basic human truths that made a Tumblr called My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection, in which a woman has set out to review each of the 1500 items in said collection, a viral hit.

Librarian Sarah O’Holla’s journey through her husband’s (WNYC On the Media producer Alex Goldman) records is charming enough. “I’ve never been ahead of the curve with music,” she writes in her introduction to the project, “but my taste could probably also be described as eclectic on the snobbier side too — just in a much more clueless way [than Goldman].” Her writing is conversational and funny, and often perceptive in a plainspoken way. Rather than pretending to provide authoritative music criticism, she offers the rare perspective of a thoughtful listener encountering a wide range of albums for the first time. There’s something refreshing about this, certainly, even if it sometimes feels like O’Holla is playing up her ignorance and wonder for maximum adorkability.

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