Everyone’s always saying that albums are dead but music releases continue to be centred around the album and I think albums will probably exist in the mainstream as long as there are plenty of musicians around who like the format.
I’d admit though that even at 34, I find many of my friends do not do a lot of listening to albums, or if they do they’re not in the habit of playing one from start to finish, no skipping around.
Part of it’s gotta be a format thing, right? For all the amazing convenience digital music brings, it gives us so many ways to be less patient with music too.
Vinyl: Not into a song? Go up, lift needle, try to drop it where you want.
Tape: Want to skip? Fast forward and hope you have one of those decks which tries to detect song endings.
CD: Want to skip? Press skip.
Downloadable music: Now you don’t even have to download the track if you want to.
Music-as-service: Everyone can just make their own playlist!
I don’t mean this as a kind of luddite protest against new technology, but I do often think about the way technology changes the way we listen. And yet - I remain an album listener.
I do playlists, little mixtapes, that sort of thing, but if I really want to listen, I still like to put on an album. There’s just something about the album as a whole work that I find very satisfying, and how a good album can elevate all the individual songs in it.
Are you folks into albums? Let me know some of your favourites. What’s an album you can put on just about any time and end up feeling better, or an album that you love but have to get into the right mindset for me.
I’ve been in the mood for really sunny guitar music lately so The New Pornographers’ album Electric Version has been a good, reliable pick for that.
But when I’m looking for a really album-y album to sink into, lately I’ve been into the sometimes-poppy, sometimes-obscure but somehow always of-a-piece Blueberry Boat by The Fiery Furnaces