Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Music Releases: The Good and Bad

Yesterday, a number of high profile albums were all released on the same day including Ryan Adams, Interpol, The Kooks, Karen O, and U2 the next day for free no less. This only happens once or twice a year, but it does present certain issues for the music fan. First, let me say, that having some of your favorite artists come out with albums all at the same time is a good thing. I would rather have these albums be released, than not at all. Saying that, let me point out a problem with this. For example, four albums came out yesterday and I wanted all of them. I will get all of these albums at the same time. Which one do I listen to first? How much time do I spend on each album? Am I rushing through listening to a certain album? How do I find the best songs as fast as possible for an album? All of these things go through the music fan's mind when trying to digest multiple albums all at once. You cannot even go to reviews to find out the best songs because some of these albums are so new; they have not even been reviewed yet. 

In contrast, one of the more annoying traits of buying a new album is when the only good song was the single that went along with the preorder. This can be very frustrating moneywise, but for me that is not what I get annoyed by. I hate the fact that I wasted a certain amount of time actually listening to the darn thing and not being able to pull out any songs that I liked besides that single. This is what I hate about the pre-release singles that are always coming out months ahead of an actual album. These singles are the best songs on the album. The artist know that if they release the singles, people will think the rest of the album is just as good when this is not the case. I found this out first hand with Interpol's new album, El Pintor. 

These pre-release singles are a problem because they are too good, which causes heightened expectations for an album that cannot live up to them. I would much rather discover these songs within the confines of the actual album release. Yet, I know music is a business and they have to sell records somehow. An entirely different discussion is how the album is dead and digital singles are all that matter in the music business world now anyway. 

In the end, if a number of albums come out at the same time, I feel blessed and take however long it will take to fully listen and appreciate each of them. Sometimes this can take up to a month, but I want to make sure I don't miss any golden nuggets that are out there on these albums.

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