Noticed a lot of acts putting out a first track, for the web, that wrongfoots people and gets them talking. Like Foals coming back with Spanish Sahara, Horrors' newie and first track of last album and this Nicola Roberts things, to name but three. They're often the tracks which are the biggest departure on the album.
Meanwhile, the 'event' of an album release, for slightly more established acts, seem to revolve around clever talking-point concepts from the likes of Kaisers, Radiohead, NiN and even Ash with their anti-album A-Z thing. Or there's the whole 'this is probably my last album' (Streets, LCD) or the Joanna Newsom triple album sandwich, and I'm sort of wondering with the 'format' has superseded the 'content' or concept of the record?
What other recent and historic examples (like PiL's Metal Box) are there of acts playing with the format? Curious which of these approaches you've liked or felt cynical about and whether you feel that it can overshadow the music. Also, which ones have you bought (into) or been excited by?
I was really impressed by this organic, constantly changing track, where no copy is the same by Gwylim Gold (still need to try to put into words just how much this blew me away but Laura Snapes did a great job of summing it up http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=15&title=title_474&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1 ) http://gwilymgold.com/shop/get_download/flesh_freeze/1 - it's actually a whole new format of music, with the mix and EQs changing on every listen and I imagine quite a few acts will be using it as it's pretty mind-blowing once you get your head around it (so much more than a game of spot of the difference).