Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bands w/o Singles

Pitchfork Reviews of Nine Times the Same Song by Love is All and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah s/t.

Some of my favorite contemporary albums are by bands that don't have any songs that could ever get airtime. Does this lack of a single worthy track lower the quality of the album? Personally, I like to listen to at least 8-10 songs by any particular band in order. Sure, there's the odd movie soundtrack or personal compilation that finds time in my stereo, but 99% of my listening is dedicated to entire albums.

There's just something great about listening to one great song by a band you love...followed by a song just as good or better. Listening to an album is like reading a novel as opposed to just short stories. Maybe it's the same part of my personality that makes me prefer novels as well. The drama is increased, the emotion is more varied, and hey, more of your time is taken up with something you love.

So now I've explained why I love albums, but what about albums that have no standout tracks? I can't claim that this isn't a downfall. I know it is, and I know that it limits the audience of this music in a tangible way. But, I don't care. If there was one great single I'd get tired of it and look forward to the album tracks anyway. I can't share this music nearly as easily as I could if there was that one single. I look for the song that seems a bit more distinct than the others, but what I'd really like to do is just hand someone the entire album and tell them to take a drive along Highway 5's golden wastes with no other CDs in arms reach. Really deal with the album and then tell me what you think.

This leads me to something else I've noticed about myself. Even one bad song on an otherwise decent album can really turn me off. It ruins the flow and skipping it seems like cheating in some way. When I put Clap Your Hands Say Yeah I sometimes forget which track I'm listening to. I'm listening to the album, not just the songs it contains. Thirty minutes of music I love beats three minutes of pop glory any day.


Little Earl said...

Hey did you write this yourself just now? Or was this stored away somewhere?

yoggoth said...

I just wrote it.

Little Earl said...

That was pretty good for something off the cuff.

Now about this part: "Even one bad song on an otherwise decent album can really turn me off."

This wouldn't apply to that skit on "Living For The City," or "Tommy's Holiday Camp" on Tommy, or the piano at the beginning of Big Star's "Jesus Christ," would it?

yoggoth said...

I think I should make my own versions of classic albums using audio editing software. It would be like the Jefferson Bible.

Little Earl said...

Man, my version of Green Day albums would be like 30 seconds long