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Old 01-12-2009, 06:43 PM   #31 (permalink)
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one of my favorite albums listening in its entirety has always been Melancholy and the infinite sadness
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:16 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default The album

Obiously the way we aquire and listen to music has changed drastically in the last few years or so.
There has been some debate over the the album (a collection of related audio or music tracks distributed to the public) and whether it is still relevant to today's music. Downloads of single songs shoot up while CD sales drastically drop. People are aquiring music in different ways, being able to pick and choose what they want more. Mainstream artists praise torrent sites and offer free digital mixtapes.
Undoubtedly, some amazing albums have been released since the rise of the internet and the rise of downloading, but I still wonder if the album is a slowly dying art. I have a theory-most mainstream pop artists will stop releasing albums, but more underground artists will embrace them will full force, releasing surreal concept albums or operas.
What do you guys think?
ALSO: I just took an undisclosed amount of Melatonin so I dunno if this post is the dumbest of the dumb. It kind of reads like a history paper.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:25 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I think we've had a few similar threads already, no?

Edit - This is the one I was thinking of: http://www.musicbanter.com/general-m...at-sacred.html
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:32 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
I can go either way. I appreciate some bands for their individual songs and some bands for their albums. One thing I think the album bands really have going for them for me though is that I love being able to immerse myself in for an extended length of time like you can with a unified-sounding album. Sometimes a single song just isn't a long enough experience for me.

Yeah this is pretty much where I stand also. I can enjoy a single but I prefer having the experience of a good album because it lasts longer and a lot of the time is also a little richer... depending on the single anyway. There are some really great singles when it comes to Reggae, Soul, Funk etc.

I can also see what people were saying about an album full of singles. I have some pretty sick compilations that are like that and they just seem like great albums to me.

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Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
I think we've had a few similar threads already, no?

Edit - This is the one I was thinking of: http://www.musicbanter.com/general-m...at-sacred.html
That is this thread. =/
Edit: Oh, I see, the threads were merged. My bad.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:13 PM   #35 (permalink)
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To me, the best album is one where every track sounds like a single. I don't care about flow and cohesion, I want one stand-alone gem after another.
I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Although there are some good albums that fit into that definition, I think that a great album flows from one song to the next. It's a sign of not only a good musician, but a true lover of music as a whole to be able to take 10-15 tracks, and make you want to listen to the whole thing, in order from start to finish.

An example for me would have to be The Crane Wife by the Decemberists. That album just flows so well that it's hard to skip a track, even if the one that I really want to hear is two songs away. The album is constructed so that the two songs before it are the perfect build up, and by the time you get to it it's an orgasmic experience.

Just my $0.02, anyway.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:43 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I want both. Albums are works of art, and yes, an album should have some loose sense of cohesion, think about London Calling or Rubber Soul, they aren't bound together by concepts, but by tone, and a build up of ENERGY. London Calling has a snowball effect of energy being built up so by the end, it's at a fever pitch. Funeral by Arcade Fire has grandiose tone shifts that release cathartic energy and builds it up again.

I hate to posit my theories and my hippy-like concept of musical energy, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is what makes us like music: the emotional energy being transferred sonically to an individual, burrowing into their brain, which then sends out electrical signals, making people either want to move their body, makes people escape and forget their troubles, or use the music as some sort of catharsis and emotional therapy, like a shoulder to lean on.

If an album can achieve this than conceptual cohesion is not necessary, only tonal and emotional cohesion.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:01 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I'd like to believe that the album will be around forever, but the reality of the matter is that it's only been relevant for the past fifty years or so. The LP didn't even exist until 1948, predating that were other mediums but nothing of the length that grew to be the 45-52 minutes typically associated to be "the album." Since then the album has grown in size considerably and changed in media several times, but decreasing demand for it projects a rapidly approaching date in which the album will be neither desired nor relevant.

So would I consider the album format sacred? No. It's a wonderful expression of an artist's worth but one only in lieu of a live setting. Nothing can truly replace the emotional intensity of a live concert, and that is where some of the greatest acts of our era excel.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:10 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I'd like to believe that the album will be around forever, but the reality of the matter is that it's only been relevant for the past fifty years or so. The LP didn't even exist until 1948, predating that were other mediums but nothing of the length that grew to be the 45-52 minutes typically associated to be "the album." Since then the album has grown in size considerably and changed in media several times, but decreasing demand for it projects a rapidly approaching date in which the album will be neither desired nor relevant.

So would I consider the album format sacred? No. It's a wonderful expression of an artist's worth but one only in lieu of a live setting. Nothing can truly replace the emotional intensity of a live concert, and that is where some of the greatest acts of our era excel.
The purposeful arrangement of music to create an overarching piece of work is nothing new. Think of symphonies. Mozart's Requiem is meant to be played and listened to as a whole, and the whole is better than the sum of it's parts.

LPs are essentially that concept but veiled behind the relative newness of the technology itself.

However I do agree with you that live music is the way music is meant to be heard and played. Nothing beats it, because there is much more of a connection between the artist and the listener, and the listener to all the other people in the crowd.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:48 PM   #39 (permalink)
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The purposeful arrangement of music to create an overarching piece of work is nothing new. Think of symphonies. Mozart's Requiem is meant to be played and listened to as a whole, and the whole is better than the sum of it's parts.

LPs are essentially that concept but veiled behind the relative newness of the technology itself.

However I do agree with you that live music is the way music is meant to be heard and played. Nothing beats it, because there is much more of a connection between the artist and the listener, and the listener to all the other people in the crowd.
I think symphonies are a good analog to the album from an artist's perspective, but I was more commenting on the physical existence of the album within our society as a whole. Prior to the invention of the gramophone, symphonies were some of the only preserved music, something that certainly doesn't correlate to their minuscule existence at the time. There was plenty of other music out there besides classical, and hardly any of it preserved for posterity.

Another thing to consider is the emerging disconnect today between how an artist sounds on record and how they sound live -- a product of the album's inherent focus on "making a band sound good" rather than "making a band sound real". I'm not suggesting that modern production hasn't resulted in some enormous works, but this disparity between how an artist records and how he performs is expanding. And in some situations (like, say, 100% of pop music), the album becomes a much greater work of the producer and engineers than the actual performer.

So no, I still don't consider the album sacred.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:48 PM   #40 (permalink)
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the album is my favorite way to listen to music. if i have one song by an artist, i will have the whole album that it is in. i can't stand having one song here and there at ALL. in fact, i know if i am going to really connect with a person musically (and subsequently, personally since music is such a big part of my life) if i scan their ipod and they have either whole albums or just radio hits.

one of my favorite albums of all time...de-loused in the comatorium by the mars volta...an album where i truly can't listen to it unless i start it from the beginning and go all the way to the end.

but yes...i feel like the album is really dieing. the interest is just not there...and even for me, since i can now have my entire music collection in one place it is easy for me to decide to switch albums after a song or two. in high school, i would bring a couple albums to school everyday and those would remain in my cd player for a while, and i would really really absorb those albums since that is all i could listen to for that day.

i kinda miss my cd player...
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