Quirkyculture reminisces on the days where we listened to albums instead of individual songs:
Albums were intended as works of art. The careful assembling of various songs, when done with love, carried the listener on an emotional ride. If the artist succeeded, the listener experienced a seduction,was drawn in as a willing participant to the artist’s most intimate thoughts and emotions. And come out with a sense of completion. There was a beginning, a middle, an end. Whether cheerful or melancholy, the ending was meant to be satisfying…
However, the iPod has revolutionized the way we listen to music.
“Gone are the days of slipping an album from its cardboard cover and paper sleeve, carefully placing it on the turntable and committing to one musician for forty-five minutes. The artist had forty-five minutes to make me fall in love with his or her music. Sometimes, that forty-five minute tryst became a full-blown love affair. I committed myself, like a lover, for better or worse, til death do us part… I am a schizophrenic listener now. I shuffle. I am jarred from one extreme to the next, with little commonality of idea or purpose. I dance, I feel blue, I feel elevated, I feel raunchy. It’s all one big jumble and I’m struggling to keep up. Perhaps some classical strings would soothe me. If only the violins weren’t followed by Pink telling me to get the party started.”
My iTouch has actually left me with the opposite effect than the one QuirkyCulture has described: I respect artists with wonderfully put-together albums much more than I have in the past. A lot of the times, I won’t listen to a song individually, but I will listen to it as a piece of a whole album.
The iPod has changed the way we listen to music, but I hope that doesn’t influence the way artists make albums as a collective piece of art.