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View Poll Results: Which applies to you more?

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  • Individual Songs!

    11 47.83%
  • Albums!

    12 52.17%
  • Meh.

    0 0%
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
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    Default Individual songs or Albums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evi View Post
    I too like indvidaul songs more than groups. I do like the following for the most part though.
    Taken from the thread NFs and music, I think this question warrants a new thread.

    Here is my theory: I think the listener can break down music into two camps: pleasure and art. The former, constitutes individual songs from a particular album. Lets say a catchy pop song that you like listening to while dancing. Nothing wrong with listening to particular songs-I do it too. The latter on the other hand, constitutes every song on a particular album. Why? Certainly all the songs are pretty good for starters but then you begin to think that perhaps these songs are interwoven in a particular way (an explicit example being song order). Lets say Chopin's Nocturnes that you enjoy while contemplating.

    In essence, I think people that exclusively have individual songs rather than albums are missing out on a big part of music: its composition as a whole.
    I may be bested in battle, but I shall never be defeated.

  2. #2
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    Taken from the thread NFs and music, I think this question warrants a new thread.

    Here is my theory: I think the listener can break down music into two camps: pleasure and art. The former, constitutes individual songs from a particular album. Lets say a catchy pop song that you like listening to while dancing. Nothing wrong with listening to particular songs-I do it too. The latter on the other hand, constitutes every song on a particular album. Why? Certainly all the songs are pretty good for starters but then you begin to think that perhaps these songs are interwoven in a particular way (an explicit example being song order). Lets say Chopin's Nocturnes that you enjoy while contemplating.

    In essence, I think people that exclusively have individual songs rather than albums are missing out on a big part of music: its composition as a whole.

    I feel somewhat the opposite. I think that rock has gone too far in the direction of album-as-art. In the 1950s, 1960s, and early-1970s, rock n' roll artists produced fully-formed, stand-alone singles that (many times) have stood the test of time. As the '70s wore out, and rock became a more self-consciously artsy form, I think that the single-as-statement started to fall by the wayside, for better and for worse. Disco, R&B, pop, and punk ended up being the singles genres, with hard rock and classic rock being the album-oriented rock genres. This has been problematic. A tremendous album is an amazing experience, but far fewer musical groups in the last thirty years have had the talent and longevity to produce multiple albums with solid songs throughout. How many great white-guys-with-guitars rock ALBUMS that were great have you heard in the last five years? Ironically, the great singles rock bands of the '60s (The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Who) grew into the great album rock bands of the time, as well! The '70s had exceptions (Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, etc.), but I think that the single remains the purest distillation of what popular music can be, and I think that you MUST make good singles to make good albums.
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  3. #3
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    I'm definitely an albums guy. I generally listen to whole albums, I love hearing how the same musician does different things in different styles and ideas and everything.

    Merc, you have a fantastic point about the album thing being over done. Some bands take it to far and try to make an album of giant, 8 minute-epics that are way overproduced and consist of a million guitar solos. Some people can do that wonderfully well, but a lot of people make it completely contrived. They try too hard to be "artsy" or whatever, or think that having 18 toms on your drum kit and a series of overlapping 12 string guitars constitutes as great music automatically. 8 minute epics can be great when done right, and when surrounded by shorter, more to-the-point songs, but some people take it to far.

    Writing a great "single" -a great, simple, three minute song that is well written to state it's point powerfully and quickly with a great melodic break- is an art in itself. Max Martin, the guy who writes all those annoying pop songs for Britney and the Backstreet Boys, must be a freakin genius. Just like The Beatles were freakin geniuses for their ability to write so many great, simple songs that never get bored because they have so much depth in their simplicity (Beatles are obviously better than Max Martin, but you get it :P).

    Also, not all albums are interwoven messages. They don't, and shouldn't, have to be and many or even most great albums don't have a common theme or concept outside of the writer's own state of mind throughout the recording and writing process.

    I listen entire albums though, and I have little interest in getting an album if the entire thing is not worthwhile.

  4. #4
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    I listen entire albums though, and I have little interest in getting an album if the entire thing is not worthwhile.
    There's the rub! How many 12-, 13-, 14-song and 60-minute albums are truly great?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #5
    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I feel somewhat the opposite. I think that rock has gone too far in the direction of album-as-art. In the 1950s, 1960s, and early-1970s, rock n' roll artists produced fully-formed, stand-alone singles that (many times) have stood the test of time. As the '70s wore out, and rock became a more self-consciously artsy form, I think that the single-as-statement started to fall by the wayside, for better and for worse. Disco, R&B, pop, and punk ended up being the singles genres, with hard rock and classic rock being the album-oriented rock genres. This has been problematic. A tremendous album is an amazing experience, but far fewer musical groups in the last thirty years have had the talent and longevity to produce multiple albums with solid songs throughout. How many great white-guys-with-guitars rock ALBUMS that were great have you heard in the last five years? Ironically, the great singles rock bands of the '60s (The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Who) grew into the great album rock bands of the time, as well! The '70s had exceptions (Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, etc.), but I think that the single remains the purest distillation of what popular music can be, and I think that you MUST make good singles to make good albums.
    I predominately listen to Metal but Metal itself seems to follow your Rock assertion pretty well. I know you're Mbtic's Rock-go-to-dude, so I trust ya. The most excellent Metal came out of the eighties and nineties. It's few and far between now to spot some quality albums. On the contrary though (regarding singles), Metal (at least the artists I listen to) have practically zero air time whether on the radio or streaming internet radio. Sure they release an LP, but those are rather uncommon.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    You make some interesting point, Noel, but it also depends on whose album it is, what kind of music, and what album in my case. For example, it is hard to listen to Pink Floyd or The Beatles without listening to every song on the album in order, since their songs either weave into each other or continue a story. On the other hand, it's very easy for me to listen to chosen songs from the B-52s, Django Reinhart, and Tom Petty without even feeling inclined to listen to the whole album.

    I suppose it comes down to the artist. Some drive to compose their albums as a whole, some not so much. I do think the more successful ones are able to at least find a common theme for the songs when grouped together, but they don't always link together to create a magnificent 60+ minute experience. It's like the difference between a novel and a collection of short stories. Both are good in their own ways.
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  7. #7

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    My knee-jerk reaction is to prefer the album, though I recognize pure_merc's point. I guess I'd say that while a great album needs a great single or two, a single in itself is rarely as satisfying as a great album. The kinds of music I tend to listen to, with the exception of Motown, lend themselves to the album form and perhaps that's why I favor it. I also think that rock bands continue to make great albums even in the present day. I don't see the dropoff.
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  8. #8
    Kickin' Ass since 1984 GargoylesLegacy's Avatar
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    For me it really depends. When I buy the Linkin Park or Fort Minor CDs, I surely buy the whole Album and not only single Songs. I collect every freaking Demo of them. So...HELL YES! Album!

    When it comes to Artist "I like, but that are not my very Favorites", I normally get single Songs only. Good Thing we live in a Century where you can actually get single Songs too.
    Rule #1: Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole.

    Again, Demons I get, but people are just crazy.

    ESTP? o.O

  9. #9
    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    You make some interesting point, Noel, but it also depends on whose album it is, what kind of music, and what album in my case. For example, it is hard to listen to Pink Floyd or The Beatles without listening to every song on the album in order, since their songs either weave into each other or continue a story. On the other hand, it's very easy for me to listen to chosen songs from the B-52s, Django Reinhart, and Tom Petty without even feeling inclined to listen to the whole album.

    I suppose it comes down to the artist. Some drive to compose their albums as a whole, some not so much. I do think the more successful ones are able to at least find a common theme for the songs when grouped together, but they don't always link together to create a magnificent 60+ minute experience. It's like the difference between a novel and a collection of short stories. Both are good in their own ways.
    Great analogy. I think you're right in that music genre certainly affects an album's composition as well as the artist's decision to do so. The albums I listen to tend to favour both conceptual albums and nonlinear albums. I don't dislike either of them because I enjoy listening to both all the way through. It's rare for me to skip ahead. Certainly, I've had the urge to skip ahead to the best song on the album but I find the build up with solid songs makes it sounds so much better. To each their own.
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  10. #10
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    It depends on the album. Some clearly had a lot of thought put into the sequence of the songs. Some are just thrown together. I love an album that's more than the sum of it's parts. The songs all flow together and it's epic. But that's rarer than a catchy song.
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