Ready to Die (Round up #1)

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Does the “current day album” still have value, or is it considered a dying breed? (Here today gone tomorrow)

Go to Spotify.  Pick a random song (probably your jam).  Pick another band.  Play two of their songs at most, different albums. *Commercial* Then continue the process and commercials and we have this unusual mix of chaos that defines how we as people listen to music these days.

In today’s day and age music and the significance of albums have changed drastically.  Most albums today survive off singles and are easily accessed whether it would be by streaming, or downloading.  The new mediums and diets as a music consumer such as the ones explained have changed the way we listen to music and have shied away from listening to whole albums because of some of the fluff music that gets put in albums to broadcast 3-4 good songs.

Some artists will unlikely be able to survive off making albums explained in David Bryne’s post on the streaming era and it’s affect.

With that being said, how can albums survive and still manage to send whole messages with people listening to random songs all the time?  I am guilty, I admit.

We all adapt to what is going on in the world, but what would it take to go back to the days of Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin where real music and philosophy existed.

“The youngsters are streaming singles and the oldsters are staying home.” Wise words here from Bob Lefsetz. You might ask “what’s so important about this”?

Personally I think myself and a lot of others don’t feel that albums have the same value.  And when do you ever hear of them coming out? I feel like albums were more anticipated.

Kanye West has his new album coming out in less than a month, shout out to Yeezy! I can see him getting a lot of exposure with this new album, I hear it’s going to be a happier album similar to Graduation. But did you know Big Sean came out with an album recently? When was this!?

Amazing how a lot of people talk about and download “Blessings” which was a big hit the past few weeks with features from Drake and Yeezy, but the whole album has never crossed my path.  There’s no spicy talk about any of the other songs.

Ray Wolfson calls most of the music coming out “fast food music” and there is barely any human condition analysis.

We bump to music that has little meaning, but it sounds cool so we continue to blast it and look for more songs that brag about lavish lifestyles.  Followed by a stupid dance.  Then it goes viral. Cool man.

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Bobby Shmurda and his one hit wonder “Hot N*gga” is such a catchy tune and it blew up.  There is no morals especially since the hit song mentions in the chorus about his friend killing somebody….(about a week ago) and his crew being so gangster.  Congratulations.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t “Shmurda” my way through first semester, but I just feel singles like these show that we have started to miss the point along the way.

Jimmy Smith, an amazing and successful jazz player, said it best in Drake’s Nothing Was the Same album.

“Good God Almighty. Like back in the old days. You know, years ago they had the A&R men to tell you what to play, how to play it and you know whether it’s disco and rock but we just went in the studio and we did it. We had champagne in the studio, of course, you know, compliments of the company, and we just laid back and did it. So we hope you enjoy listening to this album half as much as we enjoyed playing it for you. Because we had a ball. Only real music is gonna last, all the other bullsh*t is here today and gone tomorrow…”

There is more to life than this nonsense and this was probably the only good song on the album.  People need great stories through a great outlet like music to impact their lives.  The crappy music that most people make today are enjoyed by the public and it lowers the standards that great bands and artists have set for us.

I think there was a special time period where people would go out and buy albums and they got to enjoy the whole experience.

I don’t think their is a right, or wrong way to listen to music because people should have the right to listen to what they want, when they want especially when we live in this digital era.

I just hope people can find good music along the way again.  In this day and age it is hard to find something that flows and is creative the whole way.  And even when it is I feel like people are not patient enough to listen all the way through.

In the Duff Mckagen interview it mentions the make-up of an album and messing around with the order of songs disturbs the whole story it tries to reveal, which speaks volumes to how great an art form albums are.

One of the most recent examples of great storytelling through concept albums is Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.

“A true classic is an album that stretches boundaries and influences future artists”, says Edward Bowser of Soul In The Stereo.

Kendrick tells a narrative of his evolution of being violent with his friends and is apart of murders and drugs.  He is a product of his own environment and has dreams of getting out of the hood where in one song he is so caught up in evil revenge that it costs his friend to die in his arms. Making something of his own life so he can give back to his “bad city” makes the album a wonderful and powerful story narrated by various skits, along with thrills of Sherene, which is a girl K Dot is perusing in a roller coaster adventure .

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The important fact to note about this album is the fact that most of the songs had a rightful place and were all valuable in relation to putting the album together. In other words this album wasn’t just made to promote “Swimming Pools”, or “Money Trees”, but instead to inspire others in poor communities to change their ways for a better quality life.

I think if concept albums in the future relay powerful messages just like Kendrick’s debut album, the products that artists put out will be listened to more than a few months and can even act as social reform to spark changes in the lives that we live today.

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