In the era of digital music downloads, very few of us actually buy full albums anymore. For a while now, I’ve used iTunes to purchase singles, or I’ve added them to my playlist on Playlist.com. Not long ago, I read an interview with Tori Amos where she decried this trend of the digital music age, saying that when an artist creates an album, they’re really telling a story. When someone pulls out bits and pieces of that story, they’re missing out on the experience as the artist intended. I discussed this with a colleague of mine recently, who made the point that some musicians who are truly artists (such as Tori Amos), really are telling stories, while other musicians (like Brittney or Lady GaGa) are just making singles.
In light of all of this, I’ve decided to stop buying singles and start buying albums again. In fact, I may even buy the actual physical CDs instead of just downloading from iTunes. I can always rip the files later if I feel like adding them to my iPod.
So, in the spirit of listening to an entire album, I have made a list of albums I’ve purchased in the last few years that are great from beginning to end. To be fair, there are several albums I’ve bought in the recent past that I really don’t like in their entirety, but it’s always a crap shoot. Like anything in life, the best experiences follow risks taken.
Natalie Walker – Urban Angel: Technically “electronic,” but very mellow and really cool; her voice is amazing
Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos – The Dust of Retreat: Don’t let the name fool you; they are not bizarre or weird, just an indie pop band out of Indiana
Adele – 19: More commercially successful than a lot of the albums I’ve purchased recently, so this is not such a revelation, but it’s a truly spectacular album so it’s definitely worth a mention
The Kooks – Konk: This is an indie rock band out of England. Their music is super catchy and lots of fun – this album always puts me in a good mood
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Rodrigo y Gabriela: They are a guitar duo out of Mexico, and all the songs are instrumental. If that sound bizarre, give it a whirl anyway. At the very least, it’s cool background music for a summer party (margaritas optional)
You already know how I feel about the Trashcan Sinatras recent release In the Music, so I will not nag by mentioning it again here (even though it’s awesome).
I am open to any and all recommendations you may have for me.
PS: I recently purchased Tori Amos’ new album Abnormally Attracted to Sin. I am disappointed to report that I find it a little bit strange, but I’m trying really hard to give it a chance. I’m hoping it’s one of those albums that grows on you over time.