Friday, September 5, 2014

Long Awaited Music and How Long Is Too Long

This week Julian Casablanca released a new single from his long awaited solo album, which he has been teasing for probably like a year. This brings up certain thoughts I have about waiting for new music to appear. I find that there are certain levels within this idea of realistic expectations for new music. 

There is the absolutely ridiculous, which you can put into the categories of Dr. Dre and his Detox album or Chinese Democracy by Guns and Roses. The problem with albums such as these is so much time passes that the music world simply does not care anymore. The music world will roll its eyes at the fact that any news regarding the release is out there. Fans simply do not believe it anymore. The other trend that appears with these decade long-awaited album releases is that the style of music is no longer in style. This is quite clear with Chinese Democracy as it became just an ordinary album, but I have to think it would've gotten slightly larger buzz if it had been released at least five years previously. 

Now, you have artists in the medium-range like a Julian Casablancas or his band the Strokes. This is the best way for the music fan and the musician for many reasons. For example, the artist is working very hard to produce quality music and it shows, while in contrast if they're coming out with new albums every few months, then you begin to wonder whether they are in it for the money. They are interested in quantity over quality. Another facet of this is if their output is to prolific, then you may get tired of hearing this music. Here you have a Catch 22 where the artist if he or she waits forever to release something is criticized for a lack of passion, but if they release too much material people seem to feel that their music product is somehow dilluted. 

Yes, and this brings us to the final group of artists, who release something new almost every six months. Some people tend to view these artists as creating music based on a formula that does not really change that much. Me personally, I like to see artists that stretch themselves, expand themselves, work on different sounds, and I know that this takes time. Perhaps, this is why I do not enjoy country music or electronic music as much as the next person because it is more based on a kind of formula, then anything else. That is not to say that acts like Coldplay do not create some of their music on a formula because they do. I noticed with Coldplay that as much as they want to be experimental they always return in some way to their formula that has made them so much money in the past. Yet, this viewpoint is an entirely different article altogether, which shall be considered at a later time. 

Let me just close in saying that artists that wait too long for their next album run the risk of the music world passing them by. Yet, artists that put out too much material too quickly also run the risk of losing their music fans due to overexposure. I simply do not have an exact equation in order to perfect when and how an artist should release their next album after they do strike gold. Lady Gaga is a prime example of this. She did not wait forever for her next album, but she did not push one out there immediately after the success of her first album. Yet, she still suffered from over exposure. I guess it just goes to show you how fickle the music world and what is popular and what is not popular can be sometimes.

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