The Fixation on whole “entire” albums

Albums Galore// Both the Ten Years After and The Moody Blues album lead into each other. The albums also both stress a main theme that cannot be understood without listening to the whole album in order.

by Addison Stanton

An artist writing an album is to express an inner conflict and/or a life story. The artist presents this in form of an album which is meant to be listened to in its entirety. When an artist releases an album, most people tend to browse the album for their favorite songs. Some albums make it challenging to skip songs, for example, Pink Floyd’s The Wall or Tame Impala’s Currents, as they are produced to fade from one song to the next. Yet time and time again, people are seen picking and choosing certain songs that confuse the artist’s message without the rest of the album. 

For example, the album, Currents by Tame Impala, portrays the progression of a person transforming and evolving into someone they never thought they would become. This is evidently seen in Let It Happen (the first song on the album) as the song is about someone who is trying to accept the change and “let it happen.” In Yes I’m Changing he is identifying that he is changing and he eventually will which is said in Eventually. In the final song of the album, New Person, Same Old Mistakes, he has emerged as a new person but he still has ties to who he used to be. Further on, on the album’s B side (essentially a sub-album to the main album), Taxi’s Here describes this person as finally moving on. 

The line between loving a song and an album is a huge line that is often blurred by people’s misunderstandings. To say that an album is a personal favorite is shameful (or despicable) when the listener only likes a few songs while predominantly disliking the majority of the album.  Skipping just one song can be the difference between misconception and understanding. The idea of loving an album comes from the capability to play the album in its entirety numerous times, giving the ability to feel the songs and understand what is going on throughout the album.

Artists tend to throw a plethora of songs together with different beats, tempos, and instruments in an attempt to appeal to everyone, as not everyone has the same taste in music. To indulge and be able to sit through a song whose style is a bit off the usual path must spawn the question of whether or not your ears like it or your mind does.

Music lovers often identify their taste in music early on and expand upon it throughout life. Life is a wave with crests and troughs, moments of joy and sadness. To manipulate the wave would just speed up or slow down the cycles, but inevitably the emotion will come around. Feelings taint everything, tweak everything, including music. Albums that ring the same frequency as people end up enhancing feelings because they become attached to the words in the song as opposed to the melody. The words stick out and provide the idea that there is support/comfort in the world. An album transforms into an outlet to ease and assist in comprehending a current set of circumstances, a person may be going through and in some cases, provide a solution or look into the future. 

Even Pink Floyd’s The Wall -the story of a man who is becoming more and more isolated and insane by a metaphorical wall- is seen as an album that begins one way and ends another. He begins by realizing who in his life he thinks has ruined him and made him isolate himself from the world. By the end, he realizes that he needed to reach out and get help before his mental states worsens. This again provides a solution and a future look that can ease a listener.

There are songs for everybody as well as albums. To realize a personal favorite song doesn’t come from a personal favorite album even furthers the realization that certain albums resonate with certain fans. There are a plethora of songs that connect people to the sounds of the music, but true love and understanding for the music is not found unless your mind, body, and soul connect to the lyrics of the album.