Do you listen to albums?

FAST6191

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So I was watching
I don't teach guitar (or any instruments), I don't play guitar, I don't even have that great a grasp of music theory, and while I don't much envisage that changing (I do like music theory videos though which is presumably why ze algorithm shoved that in front of my eyeballs) it saw me ponder what might go.

Short version guy in the video has been teaching guitar for a few decades now. Enough to be around for the earlier days of CDs, through the rise of downloadable music and burnable CDs, to the rise of mp3 players, to apparently the kids being about burning money on bandwidth and subscription streaming services today (I would watch the video as it is quite enlightening from just a social trends perspective) and with it the trends in consumption of it and how even the self selected group of people wanting to learn an instrument approach listening to things. I would also counterpoint it with music topics in this section -- ever so often we have variations on the theme of desert island, favourite, least favourite... and most of those are song or artist level rather than album.

Now albums were not always the dominant form of music, even after the advent of the LP record, however if the average classical symphony, opera, musical performance and whatnot almost regardless of where you were was about album length and albums tended to be what bands were referred to with and known for/banked on by record companies for then yeah (though I will certainly note singles during that time being of considerable importance, even if they were often made into compilations and greatest hits type deals).

To that end do you listen to albums or are you more about singles, or indeed is it just background noise from a streaming service these days?
 
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Sophie-bear

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Depends entirely on the artist for me. Some artists I will binge entire discographies frequently, others I only enjoy a few songs by. I guess, technically the answer would be that I do still listen to albums, but I certainly don't listen to albums released by every artist I happen to enjoy.

I do prefer listening to music locally when possible rather than streaming something at a lessened quality. Usually VBR v0 or 320KBPS MP3s or FLAC CD rips.
 

SG854

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No. Back then they had one good song but the rest of the album crap and forced you to buy the whole album to hear that one hit wonder single.

But with individual songs downloads it means I don't have to give money for a whole album that I don't care about. It forces artists to make better overall albums if they want my money for other songs in that album.
 

D34DL1N3R

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I am a very huge music fan of many different types of music, and for me it really depends on the band and/or album. For example, I would listen to something like say, a Lady Gaga track here and there. But I am not in the least bit interested in listening to an entire album of hers. The new Sleep Token album however, is something that feels to my ears as being intended to be listened to as a complete album. The three singles from it that were released prior to the full album really don't stand out that much on their own for me. But they sound amazing in the context of everything else surrounding them. So yeah. It really depends on some different factors. I enjoy both types of listening equally. But I feel most pop music albums like Gaga, Beiber (who for the record I do not listen to whatsoever, lol), etc. are written as singles that are then just then thrown together to form an "album" of material written around the same timeframe. They usually aren't written specifically as an "album". If that makes sense to anyone. lol.
 
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CoolMe

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Yes, mostly because i listen to old stuff that was way before my time.. now there's some good albums released in the early '00 and after from artists/bands that i enjoy, mainly those are not pop artists/bands and the music they make is not what you call mainstream or commercial, and even then it could be a hit or miss, there's too many variables.
 

Rob_Boates

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Do I listen to albums? Yeah I do. I'm a fan of albums that tell a story so there's that, but I also like to imagine albums as a guided adventure rather than a collection of songs. With that said I probably still listen to albums a bit less than 50% of the time. I recommend this dude's videos for his perspective of a metal recording artist


 

phreaksho

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I do believe that musical albums have a special place among the arts. That said, I always prefer to listen to an album over any single track. Sometimes I will double dip on a song that gives me good vibes. I especially like the liking system that most music streaming apps have for this reason. If I dig a particular track on an album at the time, I'll throw a like at it and when I'm up for it, I'll have a shuffle on the playlist and it'll be full of these tracks. I haven't cared for "singles" since I stopped listening to radio many years ago. I can't stand most of the popular modern music but I give it a try every now and again... Until my ears start to bleed.. lol:lol:
 

Veho

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Here's a tl;dr of the video in OP, for anyone who gave up trying to finish it:

tDt8roR.gif



That's it, that's the video. "Music was better when I was young, people really listened™, youths these days and their iPoods and smartblobs and their spotifies". The guy draws from his vast experience as a private guitar tutor, an occupation largely rendered obsolete with the advent of YouTube tutorials, and relegated to a plaything of the wealthy idle elite, and completely fails to adjust for this double bias.

Anyway. Albums. While some albums are envisioned by the author to be a single work (mostly concept albums), the vast majority is just a bunch of unrelated songs from vaguely the same time period, while the author was under a particular inspiration, influence and/or frame of mind. This gives them some similarity in tone and content, but really doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing deal.
That being said, musicians still work under the constraints of "an album", it's so ingrained in the industry despite the fact it's a purely arbitrary technical limitation and doesn't exist any more. I was listening to an old musician recently and he said the pause to flip the vinyl record halfway through still shapes the way he puts albums together, he has to include some contemplative silence at the 25 minute mark and then come up with a god lead in to the rest of the album.
The pressure to release full albums, and to have the albums be a coherent whole and not just a pile of random stuff, and to have a "flow" to them, and you get this:


HvSayRm.png



(A little aside here, they say things on the internet are there forever, it's permanent, and so on, but don't count on it, get backups of everything you want to see in a few years' time. This is the highest resolution of this comic I could find online, the original was 1200x1600 or something, it was over on Viruscomix and a copy of it was on Cracked.com but the creator removed it and good luck finding it nowadays. Anyway.)

Thaaat being said, albums as such are becoming a thing of the past. Even the record labels (the very name indicates they're stuck in the "album" mindset), slow to adjust as they are, will shift with the times. Musicians may still want to create a longer connected work that spans more than one song/single, and they will, but now it's on their own terms, as much as it can be.

tl;dr: I listen to albums when it makes sense.
 

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Listen to the album a few times, see if it grooves or only if some of the tracks slap.

Typically I only listen to whole albums, rarely just the hits unless that album just happens to be trash. I have had instances where a band I once loved would come out with an album teasing the singles hyping it up only for the rest of the album to not have any of the same drive as the singles had in it, which feels like a bait and switch/false advertising scenario. But again, this is a rare case for me, as I just do not find myself listening to singles as much as the whole album if its good.
 

duwen

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Yes. I almost exclusively ONLY listen to albums.
I believe, in most cases, you are doing a disservice to the artists work by only picking individual tracks and placing them into custom playlists.

...and, btw...
Here's a tl;dr of the video in OP, for anyone who gave up trying to finish it:

tDt8roR.gif

...that's bullshit! I'm over fifty, and while I'm not at all into current pop music (although I regularly listen to Billie Eilish's albums), I am still just as likely to be listening to something 'new' (either literally new, or just new to me) as I am something that's been a part of my life for a considerable length of time.
For example, just this week alone I have listened to albums from the 80's and 90's by metal and grunge artists, a few synthwave albums from the past 5 years, and a bunch of indie and EDM from the period in between. Next week it's just as likely that I'll be listening to a load of 60's/70's soul and funk, 80's hip-hop and 90's techno.
 
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notrea11y

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Now THATS a topic I can get into :)

Albums, lots of them.

But instead of bands, I remember "composers".

No matter if they are called Yutaka Minobe, Shuhei Naruse, Blake Neely, Yoko Shimomura, Lena Raine, Satoshi Okubo (or any other of the 40+ that I have permanently made space in my head:

I'll listen to whatever they put out.

Makes it easy to find new music, as many already produced some stuff.

My personal newest addition: Ryo Kawaski.
(Is pretty similar to me age wise,)

I have the bad habit of leaving "full albums" on my extHDD, and /butchered-for-my-hearing-pleasure" on my MusicPlayer.
Guess I'm weird like that...

Man.

I could talk for hours about music.

One thing though:

Instrumentals > all. other. music. period.

I merly view the human voice as "yet another intrument".
Composers get way too few credit.
Just like programmers :(
 

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Yeah, I usually listen to an entire album before "cherry picking" the songs I like. Sometimes I like to listen to my favorites in their entirety every once in a while, especially concept albums.
 

Hanafuda

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If I'm dedicating time to music, I listen to albums, or bootleg recordings of whole concerts. But if I'm just at the PC it's not unusual for me to check out a single track on youtube ... but it's usually with the aim of finding a good album to enjoy. Most recent discovery, Slift: Ummon.
 

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Yes, I'm most definitely listening to albums. Not always though, it depends on the artists (or the albums), or what mood I am in.

It's not uncommon for me to just hit shuffle on my phone and listen to whatever comes next, but then if I get stuck on a song there, really feeling it, then I'll take that album from the start and listen through it.

There are many albums that has much thought put into it, that tells a story. Songs transition seamlessly from one song to another, and some albums even skip the tracks altogether.
An example of this last one, and one of my favorite albums is Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven. The vinyl release has 2 records, 4 sides. The CD? 2 CDs with 2 tracks on each, and digitally: well 4 tracks. But basically it is just the different sides of the vinyl release. Does that mean there are just 4 long tracks? No. Not really, there are lots of change, and they kindly provided a track list: Well, it's not too easy to follow but it exists:
1*8yp-AlH1xJTm08TxBkrB4g.jpeg


I have made a cue-file (and later even cut the files up) with all the movements, just in case I want to go to a specific part easily.

Then we have plenty of "radio pop" albums where it often feels that they never put any thought into putting the record together, except maybe the pacing between fast songs and slow songs, weird songs and the hit singles. But there's no cohesive story, no theme running through it all, you can pick a song or two and be done with the album without missing out on much.
 
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