A song apart

Totally Topical Tuesday

I like music. It pretty much rocks. I listen to it on the sad days when I need expression for those emotions, something to commiserate with me; I listen to it on the happy days when I just feel like dancing around; and I listen to it on the days when I need epic-ness to lift me off the ground and fly me through the clouds.

So. This means I heart iTunes. Seriously. Not only is it basically cheaper, but if there’s one song I adore from an album I can buy it without having to buy all the other songs I’m not into. So I’m definitely a fan of that whole deal. But today, when I got the strongest urge to buy some good David Crowder music, I realized something. I was planning on buying his Church Music album (which I did), but then I got sidetracked with a review comparing it to his album A Collision. Of course I’d heard the “best” songs from that album and knew those. But as I read more reviews of that album, it occurred to me that some albums were meant to be taken that way…as an album. That some musicians had a message to share through their album. Now, I’m not talking about the poppy artists that basically got a record deal ’cause they’re gorgeous or were a movie star and can incidentally keep a tune. I’m talking the artists out there who are truly artists, and the album is their canvas.

I realized that A Collision was meant to be taken as a whole; that all the songs built off each other and surrounded each other and made a more complete picture together than they did apart.

Suddenly it felt sad to take a poor little song away from the rest of its album, as though some of its richness was being lost.

That’s not to say I’m now going to buy the whole album of every song I love. But it did make me think a little more about songs, the stories they tell, and the pictures they paint…as a whole.

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3 thoughts on “A song apart

  1. I really enjoy it when an album is more than the sum of it’s parts.

    Another album to not pull apart would be Switchfoot’s newest one, Hello Hurricane. There is a common (redemptive) thread running throughout all the songs. Apparently the band feels pretty strongly about it too — they’re playing straight through all eleven songs in order in their concerts.

    It’s great music. If you haven’t already, pick it up on iTunes and set aside the 45 minutes it takes to listen to it. Then do it again šŸ™‚

  2. Great post, Katy. I wish all people could think like you. I do music as you know and I’m about to release my album, so it’s been on my mind. People rarely buy an entire album these days, it’s pretty sad unlike a bunch of years ago. Even us who are musicians have to adapt and think that it’s better to sell a few songs than not selling or get em listened to by people at all.

  3. @Matt – I will definitely be checking out the Switchfoot album. Sounds really good! I’ll let you know what I think of it once I purchase it.
    @Andhari – thanks for your input! So great to hear your thoughts as a musician and artist. I’d be interested in hearing more sometime about how you deal with this issue as an artist.

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