Does Anyone Buy Albums Anymore?
“Albums are for fans. Singles are for newbies,” declares Bob Lefsetz. Does anyone buy albums anymore? Well, with the exception of the minor resurgence of vinyl (thanks to Amanda Brown, lover of wine AND vinyls), it’s still a novelty that ultimately, is not very portable, user-friendly, or sustainable, so not really. The world’s collective ADHD is in hyper-drive and we barely have the attention span to watch YouTube videos at work, let alone have patience to take a chance on an entire album. Such…a travesty.
I got to thinking about my level of frustration in my car with the thousands of songs that I have on my iPod. It’s kind of like my closet. It’s completely full yet I have nothing to wear. I created my very first infographic ever to illustrate my musical experience in my car….hence frequent road rage.
I propose bringing back the experience of enjoying an incredibly well thought-out and enjoyable album.
Sooooooooo, I put my iPod to the “running” test. I’m totally not a runner – but I’m trying. If I can jog around my favorite park, Piedmont Park for 2 miles listening to an album…and not use the bad song as my excuse to start walking so I can hit skip, well then the album is good. So here’s a list of five albums worth downloading the entire thing….no questions asked. Just do it. Right now. I mean you.
1. Helio Sequence – “Keep Your Eyes Ahead” (Sub Pop Records) Ever since I started this blog, I’ve wanted to figure out how to promote this album. For a band that consists of only two dudes from Portland, Oregon, the album is seductive perfection. Evolving from earlier, more experimental albums like Young Effectuals, Brandon Weikel (drums, keyboards, programming and former drummer of Modest Mouse) and Brandon Summers (guitar, vocals), this album begs for a deeper commitment to melody and song structure with elements of electronic perfectly blended with six-string strumming. I’m in hot pursuit to interview these guys yet they are somewhat (ok, REALLY) elusive. MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | Download
2. Pictures and Sound – Pictures and Sound - Former front-man for Blue Merle, multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-nominated musician Luke Reynolds branched off to form another band, Pictures and Sound. Running in tandem with my soundtrack of life circa 2008, this album has a laid-back pop sensibility but digs in with lyrical depth. Even teaming up with the legendary Willie Nelson on “Every War,” I could listen to any song off this album at any time, and be in complete rapture. Since the release of this album, Luke Reynolds released a solo album so not sure if this project will continue, but if not, they left on a high! Facebook | Luke Reynolds’ Website | Download Pictures and Sound
3. Heligoats – Goodness Gracious (Grey Day Records) - Profiled by NPR Music, I was pleasantly surprised that this alternative album full of layers and depth had such an appealing simplistic intelligence. Ironic in how the songs are structured by mastermind Chris Otepka, that you will struggle to find meaning in such outrageous pairings of ecology and life meanings. I love the line in “Water Towers on Fire” “Like a barrel full of monkeys. You are a fuckload of work!” Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Download
4. Lissie – Catching a Tiger (Fat Possum Records) – Lissie Maurus has been blowing up all over the globe. Raised in the midwest, moved to the UK, and currently touring all over the world, I’d consider Lissie to be an Adele-Lite. Powerfully soulful voice with a diminutive stature and All-American blonde looks, you need a seatbelt to listen to her music. With grippingly heart-stopping emotional highs and lows, Lissie brings you right into her pain and joy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself crying on a sidewalk after she knocks the wind out of you. Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Download
5. Eric Lindell – Gulf Coast Highway (Alligator Records) – Known as a blue-eyed soul singer, California-bred Eric Lindell has been calling New Orleans his home for the past several years. Performing globally and known for putting on soul-shaking crowd-pumping live shows, he’s especially known for appearing at festivals like New Orleans Jazzfest. USA Today describes Lindell as “pumping soul into funk, blues and roots-rock.” I can tell you this. His blend of blues, funk, and jazz with his honey-dripped gritty voice makes sweat drip down your legs from the New Orleans heat. If you haven’t downloaded the album before you finish reading this piece, well, you must be crazy. Official Website | Download