By: James Revels III
There is something I’ve noticed when I was young and reminded about recently while listening to music albums. I have this nagging feeling that most albums, especially mainstream albums, tend to lack a sense of unity and cohesion. I understand that music isn’t like a film or video game where you need an overarching plot, characters etc. What I don’t understand is why there aren’t very many album that have a central concept. We even have a separate term for albums with central themes called “concept albums.” Why is this? My answer is that it’s the current way the music industry is set up. (No conspiracies I promise)
Currently, the market is a “single-based” system in which a couple of singles from an upcoming album play on the radio (if anyone still listens to that) to get everyone hyped up for the album. This is fine, except sometimes the single takes up so much of the artist/labels time and effort that the rest of the album sounds like a watered down version of the single or a random mess. Not to mention the dissonance is compounded by the fact most songs are written by teams of people,sometimes different for each song.
I don’t think all music need to be cohesive and have a main theme, but I think musicians as a whole are missing out on giving listeners a more memorable and enjoyable experience by tending to ignore the design principle of unity when crafting their albums.
What do you think? Am I right or am I just talking BS? Leave your comment below.
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