I’m wondering if peoples love of a piece music has less to do with the music itself and more to do with positive associations with it. By today’s standards Phaedra should be completely unlistenable, and yet it’s remains one of my favourite albums in my collection, chiefly because of associated memories of listening to it amongst beautiful scenary.
Then again, it’s also a great album from the technical sense. Despite being very abstract, there’s still a lot there to tickle your ear, so to speak.
So maybe it’s a bit of both.