Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Metal Opinion(H)ated - Are early release singles ruining your album listening experience?

 Are you early release singles ruining your album listening experience?

   Hell it's been awhile, nah? So you may be asking what's been running through this mosh pit stompin luchadore's mind lately? All of these goddamn singles popping up in my youtube que prior to an album getting released. That's what's got me pissing razors these days. You know the one's the labels used to try to squash until they realized that if they just grabbed a graphic designer to add some lyrics to a blandly animated video they could get a few more hits to their youtube page. If you can't beat the hackers, join them. So yeah, I noticed this started just a few years ago, that these lyric videos were meant to hype an album release but somehow have morphed into what we see today. Look at Lamb of God, they practically released their entire album piece by piece to youtube weeks before the albums release. What about the new Fear Factory, which can be found in it's entirety posted by the Nuclear Blast label? Essentially giving away music freely is the way it's going these days.

   Fortunately, for a few of the major labels, diehards like myself still buy the cds and downloads even after we hear it for free. But I'm finding it increasingly difficult to avoid album spoilers prior to their proper release. I absolutely disdain hearing a few tracks separately released prior to the album getting stocked on the shelf. It completely waters down my experience of listening to an entire album and appreciating it as a whole. I for one hear a song, put it in my bank of experiences and from then on every time I hear that song relate it to the first time I heard it. Hearing a track randomly posted while reading some metal news just doesn't give me the same feeling that hearing it on an album used to. It completely takes the initial thrill of the purchase out of the equation. Don't even get me started on that first time you pull the cd out of your shopping bag, crack the case and check out all the cool artwork/liner notes. How can you even top that?  I'm cool with movie and tv show spoilers ALL DAY but leave my music alone. What's next, Netflix for music...well I guess that's already happening with Apple music and sites like Pandora. I dig bandcamp, but I could be called out for the same issues with that site releasing singles. But for some reason I feel bands at least have more control over how their music is digested on Bandcamp and give fans even more incentive to make an actual purchase while listening to it.

Perhaps, this is the way things will be going into the future. Who needs a full album when a band can randomly just throw out a few tracks at a time? No worries about concept, context or even packaging design. Sad days indeed.

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