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Personal blog and comfy corner of Lyra Rhodes: musician, cake aficionado, whinger...maybe just a place where I can stuff things (words!), rather than them falling down the back of the sofa

Monday, 25 November 2013

There be Albums!!?

When did you last listen to an Album? Using whatever electronic or manual device, wax cylinder or holographic playback, iPod, computer or Walkman?
I mean the WHOLE album, not a compilation, not a greatest hits, not on 'shuffle', not a playlist, and not with gaps between the tracks, but in the order the artist intended.
Did you listen without volume 'normalisation' or 'replay gain' (see me afterwards if you're unsure), ie with the dynamic range, the light and shade that the artist intended?
Hey, I'll forgive you for using EQ. It makes sense.
Hmmmm.
Where was I?
My boys said "but why would you want to listen to all those tracks by the same person?"
Sigh.
Am I old?
Absolutely not.
An album is a glorious thing, and I relish *so* much the snapshot it gives, the imagery, I am transported to a different place, on a journey they intended, or perhaps accidental.
Like a good book, your imagination can run riot here, the immersion is absolute.
Now, if you're listening to Rihanna whilst you're reading this (I hope not) then you probably won't get what I'm saying.
Hmmmm.
Maybe that's the equivalent of musical-snobbery....?
Apologies! From the heart of my bottom!
But seriously, albums are cool.
And, despite what I said at the beginning, it doesn't matter what the medium is, doesn't need to be vinyl or 8-track, as long as you listen to the whole thing, and appreciate the order of the tracks, the story, the effort, the selection of tracks that the artist has made.
Appreciate the sound, the production, purchase every album by an artist, listen to the differences, what era it's from, and what musical styles seep in.
Are there artists you like, favourite albums of theirs...maybe there are albums you're missing?
Because...and HERE'S THE POINT... APPRECIATE THE LESSER TRACKS!!
They're often better than the obvious singles.
What made the cut, what went as a B - side.....?
Christ!
Do those even exist anymore!!!?
This isn't a whinge about the state of the music business, or the charts, because the simple truth is that there's great stuff out there, on every single era, that doesn't change, you just gotta look hard for it...and tools like Spotify, last.fm etc etc just make that easier to link from artist to artist, and that's gotta be a good thing!
Trying to teach my boys to step outside the TV music channel into the world of ageless music from every decade, now that's another thing.
Maybe then, they'll Love Albums Too.

1 comment:

VĂ©ronique said...

As you know, this old fart listens to albums. When something is created as a "work," I like to listen to that work as a whole. Sometimes even a "best of" compilation can be a work that's best listened to in sequence -- the Kinks Kronicles, for example. Some artists still create albums, but I imagine that even with the vinyl revival, it's much less common than it used to be.

Speaking of vinyl, yes, there are B-sides. And A-sides. Once again. The single is also a legitimate art form, and some artists work best in that form -- Buzzcocks were masters of it.

As for your boys, keep trying. :)