I am currently in the process of building a number of fairly intense playlists (Top 25 Songs, Ultimate Mixtape, Evolution of My Music Tastes, etc.), and among them is “The Art of Album Writing”.
The internet/iTunes has done a lot of good and bad things for music (that discussion is for another series of posts entirely) but one of the negative aspects of mp3s is the fact that musicians have stopped writing full, cohesive albums. For the most part, albums these days are really nothing more than a collection of singles. I’m not saying that every album needs to have an overarching concept or theme, but if you’ve listened to any albums all the way through recently, chances are it really doesn’t matter in what order you play the songs. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that exactly, but there’s something to be said for albums when the songs flow into one another in a natural and really wonderful way.
My point: I’m going to do a series of posts about what I think merits a really cohesive album. They span the decades but I’m going to try to focus on the few gems that have popped up in the past few years. I’ll start with the easy and obvious ones. Speaking of which….
"Rendering good for ill, smiling at ev’ry frown, yielding your own self-will, laughing your teardrops down. Never a selfish whim, trouble or pain to stir; everything for him, nothing at all for her"
- “Love is a plaintive song” from Patience by Gilbert & Sullivan
I’m currently in a production of Patience, and this is my favorite song (along with “Sad is this woman’s lot”). The lyrics are incredibly insightful and self-aware; a welcome departure from Gilbert’s usually silly lyrics.