A whole lot of us are quite nostalgic for the “old days” of Top 40 radio, LPs, 45s, bands that were bigger than life (like Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin).  Concentrating on the album as a document of a band’s evolution and a distinct part of the entire music experience, I’d like to say a few sentences.

PlaylistOver this past decade (and longer), the album experience has become, more or less, a diminishing part of music.  This doesn’t mean that music itself has lessened.  It just means that most people these days seem to prefer the song over the collection.  And still, that’s not really the bad thing.  What seems to be problematic is the fast rate that albums seem to disappear.  The songs that are preferred get pulled off the released album, and inserted into weighty playlists, becoming first number one on the list, then being replaced and falling to number 245.  It seems a waste of a great song or a series of songs.

Taking a slight detour, I’m afraid that most readers may have ignored the Discoveries post I put up concerning First Aid Kit, the sister duo from Sweden with music that sews together folk and country together into a gorgeous production of great songs.  I swung back to their second full-length after well over a year since I was informed of its release.  BIG mistake on my part.  This album has been on full replay for weeks, giving me little room for anything else (how can I get ANY work done when I’m as obsessed as I am with a single album).

As I listen, each song becomes more and more polished.  Each song becomes more and more an important part of the full album. Each song is inseparable from the album that showcases it.  It also indicates to me that the full album experience these days is NOT Dead on Arrival.  I rather enjoy becoming obsessed with the full content of an album.  And, for the record, First Aid Kit’s last album, The Lion’s Roar is a five star gem not to be dismissed.  It’s rich, smart, full of well-crafted harmonies and memorable melodies, and haunting songs that will not go away easily.  Every song!

Basic CMYK

Tying back into my original thoughts being written, I’m heartened that a complete album of songs can be collectively enjoyed as much as I enjoy The Lion’s Roar.  And there are others.  At a time when I have begun to think that the album experience might be nearing its end (and after hearing as much from other people), I have begun to back pedal in my assessment.

No, the great and complete album isn’t dying.  But I’m afraid the passion for listening to an entire album is dying.  There’s a ton of great complete albums out there.

What’s to do about that?

By MARowe

2 thoughts on “Full Length Albums Are Not Dead, The Passion To Enjoy Them Is”
  1. The album isn’t dead but the demand for full albums has definitely declined. The music industry (as well as many others) have been forced to cater to the short attention span, “I want it my way and I want it now” crowd. It’s their loss really but it affects us all in so far as many bands also cater to this crowd and aren’t worried about crafting a great album.
    As for the band in question (First Aid Kit) I can’t say I am too interested in checking them out since all I have to go on from this review is that they are “folk and country”. That’s a pretty generic description and, since I am not a big fan of either genre and the word “rock” isn’t included, it doesn’t scream “you gotta check out this band!!!”. What I need to pique my interest is for you to say “this band will remind you of other bands, X, Y and Z”. If I like bands X, Y and Z I might be more apt to check them out.
    Several months ago you asked the question… “how far are you willing to stray into unfamiliar musical territory”. My answer was “not far”. So in order for me to check out a new group (i.e., take a chance on wasting time and money listening to a group that doesn’t do it for me) I need a little more assurance that they don’t stray too far from my musical tastes.
    I will say that, as a result of this review, I will check out some reviews on Amazon to see if I can get a better gauge of what this band’s complete album sounds like and hopefully their influences.

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