Before the introduction of the the ability to purchase, download and share music online, music albums were treated as journeys through a story corrected by musicians. Content from vinyl records, tape cassettes and compact discs, as well as their album art were cherished for the time and effort put into creating the all-encompassing project. You were more likely to listen to an entire album, even in the popular mainstream market, and you could proudly show off your collection next to your music player.
Lately thoughts of only focusing on pushing out singles to play on the radio became a trend in popular culture. However, 2013 year became the ‘year of the album’ again with music artists focusing on the entire package once more.
There is no doubt about it that Beyoncé’s self-titled album focuses on the entire package. She marketed her album without a single and dropped the entire thing on iTunes without any knowledge to anyone in the middle of the night. Every song on the album came with its own music video, and the entire thing was presented as a whole instead of one or two really good songs and several unrelated pieces that seem more like filler content.
It’s true that this focus on the entire album, as well as its cover art, has never completely went out of style since the introduction of the ability to download and purchase individual songs on the internet. But a quick look at the more well-known artists since then show more emphasis on selling singles. Other popular artists, such as Katy Perry, and her album, Prism, and Miley Cyrus, with her album, Bangerz, also crafted their albums to tell a story.
It’s definitely a trend that could potentially inspire other artists in popular mainstream culture to focus on the entire album itself instead of pushing out singles. I certainly take the time to go out and purchase entire albums when I feel as though the artist more time and effort in all the songs instead of just a few songs, and I’m interested to hear what other artists have in store in the future.
Watch the third part of “‘Self-Titled,’ Beyonce’s mini art feature comprised of several parts that give a glimpse into BEYONCÉ. It details Beyoncé’s mind-set and artistic vision throughout the making of the entire project.”