The album is on the rise again like the resurrection of Jesus. Similar to the spring, it invites us anxiously to partake in the beauty of its new comeuppance. In my last Round Up “Ready to Die”, I summarized how albums in today’s age are a dying breed. Here today gone tomorrow type of scenario. With so many different music services like Spotify and Sound Cloud offering music that forces us to change our listening habits to cherishing the single compared to the consistent album that tells a story throughout a selection of songs.
Ed Christman of Billaboard commented on the standing of the album and its standing today. “Is the album going away? People have been speculating about that forever. There are those that think the album should go away and plenty of artists who still believe in the album.” If albums are still selling 300m copies, it’s unlikely to be abandoned. “It’s up to the artists to decide what happens to it.”
In contrast, this post is going to shy away from the negative rant I went on and we’re going to look at some theory and examples of how the album is surviving today. In the digital and streaming age. There’s a new trend that’s truly been effective when it comes to album sales and anticipation.
Artists have recently been releasing surprise albums, putting their audiences and the whole music stratosphere in total shock. A lot of benefits come with this. Billboard noted some of the most notable surprise albums of the year so far. You might say that there’s not enough build up and anticipation when it comes to the promotion of new albums. In my opinion, a week is all you need to get your listeners excited about your new project.
People always hype up albums that get promoted for months on end. This gets really annoying because by time the album comes out, audiences are only buying the hit single that serves as the backbone for the album.
Instead of the product, the only thing they are receiving is the constant talk about it on social media and normal conversation which can die out easily. The Lunch Break, went snacking on the topic of Drake’s surprise album and the possible effects it has in music albums.
Another example of this movement is the new Tyler The Creator album Cherry Bomb which gave a major shock to his fans who thought he was done with making music. I bought the album last night and listened to it all the way through. It was another awesome experience mostly because of his increased production talent and the way he has fun on his experimental tracks. I was going to support Tyler on this album either way but the method does work. Rolling Stones summarized the madness that was created during the announcement of Cherry Bomb.
The whole method to this working is having a huge fan base. The Odd Future hooligans that stock Tyler, serve as this fan base that not only will be excited about the album without a dying hype, but will just want to buy it because of how the artist promotes it for that whole week.
“Look, get 12 bucks, go to Ralph’s or a grocery store, purchase a $10 iTunes gift card, go on iTunes, look for Cherry Bomb. Puppies won’t die,”-Tyler the Creator
It limits the art of media file sharing through sites like Pirate Bay that strip artists of a ton of sales. Well because it’s free. In this case, Tyler was smart enough not to leak his album.
With the success of the recent Drake and Tyler albums, how do you think artists will react when it comes time to release their work? Will artists stay traditional, or will they lean on this new method that requires a big time fan base and intense promotion?