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playlists are fun for disengaged listening - parties, doing the housework, having friends over for dinner, doing online admin etc etc
but nothing compares to absorbing yourself in one artists work
can someone change that so it's the actual factually correct number please?
"most albums are “mediocre” and...playlists allow listeners to get the best of the best in one efficient musical hit"
finally! I can maximise the efficiency by which I can consume this peice of art for the maximum desire outcome
and yet another perfect cut!
I've not been as 'efficient' as I should have been
I think it is easy to go through a phase where one bashes away at playlists, setting mp3 player to random (like having your own fantasy radio station), not being bothered to try to enagage with an album and just creaming the obvious singles off the top.
But you gotta fight that. I tend to flick between periods like that, and then engrossing myself in a small selection of new or classic albums fr a week or two.
To mirror what has been said above, playlists are good for immediately getting what you want from music... but you can get so much more from listening to an album. You put a little extra effort/concentration into a whole 45 minutes listening, but the rewards you get are totally disproportionate. If I didn't listen to albums, music would be functional at best.
BBC Radio 1 man said that
i was drinking in the Perpendicular Shoehorn in Shoreditch last night and Sean was in there, frothing at the mouth, shouting it to anyone who would listen.
there's space for both albums and single songs though. lots of ideas need a whole album to be explored but on the other hand, not all ideas do and are just single songs. most of the time when i listen to a whole album it's just because i'm too lazy to change up when i'm walking around
wish more musicians would make short, 20-30 minute albums of like 8 songs, think lots of albums suffer because people make them too long just because traditionally an album has 12 songs and is around 40-50 minutes long
but by the same token don't see why an album shouldn't be 3 hours long if it needs to be. people get so irked by long albums.
or... 32 hours long? http://www.comatonse.com/releases/soulnessless/
i think the problem is: you need to have a really strong idea for me to want to listen to something for 3 hours. there's nothing fundamentally wrong with really long albums but most of the times there's lots of filler. obviously it also becomes increasingly impractical to listen to, which shouldn't really be a problem but of course we are all slaves to labour. think the best, self-consciously looooong albums are the ones where the length is integral to the concept (like soulnessless, or '69 love songs') and then it becomes more about the concept.
have one on me was like that, but if it was experimental or classical or just one track i'd likely be fine with it
can hardly have a ridiculous monumental epic at 20 - 30 mins can ya
but in slightly more irritating way
yeah that's what i said
so many of my favourites from this year have been really short and i was just thinking how i quite like that as a structure (though it doesnt necessarily work for all genres). perfect pussy, mac demarco, cloud nothings and damaged bug are all less than 35 minutes long. might just be completely random, but could be a trend emerging? i dunno.
the idea that the album's dying as a form is so dumb though, think the only reason its even being suggested is that the internet (in particular stuff like spotify and soundcloud) has allowed for playlists to become more predominant and caters towards people sampling loads of different things in a short time frame. i've always been someone who needs time to get into stuff and thats why the albums always been my medium of choice, but different strokes for different folks. personally i think that good albums create contexts for the individual songs to thrive. using cloud nothings as an example (probably my album of the year thus far): those 8 songs are all really strong in their own right and would sound good to me on most playlists, but the track ordering is what gives the unrelenting pace and energy to that 33 minute listening experience, and thats one of the key things thats made me enjoy it so much. the album will remain a viable medium as long as there are artists out there putting thought into creating cohesive albums who are successful in achieving their goals.
i think the album will definitely die at some point, but not now. even big pop acts still follow and talk about 'album cycles', so it's still a massive medium. but no one ever imagines that music might be consumed in completely different ways that aren't anything like an album or a single in the future. if you look at electronic music mixes are the predominant form, for example, and who knows what might happen as culture changes
the 12 song, 45 minute, album is just one form that worked as a medium to consume music, for a period of time between 1940 AD and maybe 2050 AD, as a guess, for a combination of artistic and commercial reasons. no one paints big triptych paintings about the resurrection of Christ anymore. no one serialises longform fiction in the evening newspaper. etc etc.
So because singles are popular, just like they always have been, the album is dead?
If you keep buying albums with only one or two good tracks, you might want to reevaluate your taste in music.
But people who are growing up now with downloading/streaming as the source of their music are generally not going to have the same level of attachment to the idea of albums. It may be a case of when, rather than if, it is going to happen.
The longer and the more tracks there are- the more effort you need to put in to sustain the quality. On top of that, cohesion between tracks or (movements in long tracks) requires more energy. It's also very easy to completely go up your arse and lose the listener.
Shorter albums always have an advantage.
69 love songs is interesting because it is a collection of different style songs united by theme, but how many people have played it from start to end much? Could it have been much better if it had been pared down to a double album, and lost the 69 gimmick?
The idea that someone has put the songs in a certain order, mixed and edited it so that certain songs may flow together or (deliberately) jarr- this brings more to the songs than what they can do individually.
How many songs that are the opening song on an album leave you giddy or tingly because you know they are starting you off on a trip through that record? Planet Telex off The Bends is the classic one for that for me. First heard it as a single, liked it, but it's only later in life in the place of that album that it just does something to me.
To claim albums are not important, you might as well put every song on every album on your computer in alphabetical order rather than follow the tracklisting. And that's ridiculous.
I mean, Sean had nothing to do with the declaration that albums are dead, but he is evil so he had this coming.
and I don't see how this idea that albums are dead fits with the other idea touted all the time that artists (in the future) will mainly make money from touring. How do you tour a playlist? You need a body of work (read album) to provide a platform on which to tour or gig. A band or artist can pull a crowd to a gig on the basis of one or two good singles and an album of filler - the punters will come because they like the tunes they've heard on the radio. I can't see how a band could support that model on an occasional good track pulled into a playlist (unless gigs start to become label samplers with multiple performers in one sitting).
Besides which, a lot of kids are hipsters, so just as vinyl is making a comeback, albums will become fashionable again (not that they aren't now) and it will all come full circle.
"We are still going to get exceptions where the artist is brilliant, the audience loves that artist and they release a body of work that is strong enough, consistent enough that the public go out and buy it.
Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Adele potentially - these are going to be the artists who still succeed in selling slots of albums. "
He seems to concerned with music only in terms of the quality of mass market level artists. It is the only way his assertion that most albums are mediocre is not absurd.
To Be Kind.
I don't think so.
For anyone actually invested in music, no, they most certainly are not.
economic argument isnt it - at waht point do sales decline so far that albums no longer make any commercial sense.
Will the answer be different for indie artists than for major label artists?
Personally I can't imagine that future as it is so antithetical to my own listening but I am 45 and I still buy CDs so you know, dinosaur
can't believe it took 40 replies to get here