Thursday, November 18, 2010

Striking While it's Hot: Are Artists Releasing Albums Too Fast?

Shortly after Kanye debuted his video for "Runaway,"  I read an article that mentioned how he had returned to music after a year long hiatus after the VMA incident.  Seriously, it's only been a year, not like he was out of sight for years.  Now, a hiatus can be appropriately applied to Lauryn Hill or D'Angelo.  A year seems to be a reasonable amount of time between albums.  However, lately I've noticed many artists, especially fairly new ones, don't even give their last album time to cool down before they drop another one.

I remember there was a time when artists would leave you in anticipation (well, maybe not like a Sade 10-year anticipation) waiting for their album to drop.  Artists would release an album, space out its singles and then end it with a tour.  Instead, some artists are dropping an album and releasing several singles in a short time frame.  To me, this shortens the life span or popularity of the album because people get tired of it faster.  Then you turn around for 10 secs and they're releasing another album. 

Whatever happened to longevity?  Is that not a concern or goal of an artist anymore?  I guess they rather strike while it's hot and get all they can out of the moment when they're on top, climbing the charts and worry about how long they'll stay there later.

Even though Sade's appearances are to the extreme, she has proven longevity and despite the 10 year gap, leaves her fans wanting more.  In the April edition of Ebony Magazine, Sade states “I’ve had my ups and downs in the years between these albums.  That’s partly why I’m able to write songs that people in some way can hear. I express feelings, real feelings.”  How can one write about their life experiences and have diverse lyrical content if you're always on the road?  Wait, maybe it's because they probably don't write their own material. . . just a thought.

Here's what I mean. . .

Trey Songz

3rd album, Ready, dropped in August 2009
Singles released:
I Need a Girl - April 2009
LOL Smiley Face - August 2009
I Invented Sex - October 2009
Say Aah - January 2010
Neighbors Know My Name - February 2010

    He also opened for Jay-Z on his "The Blueprint 3 Tour" from October - November 2009 which further promoted his album.

    4th album, Passion, Pain, & Pleasure, released September 2010
    Singles released:
    Bottoms Up - July 2010
    Can't Be Friends - September 2010

      Went back on the road to promote this album through the "Passion, Pain & Pleasure Tour" over the summer starting August 2010.

      Even though it has been a year between his 2 albums, it doesn't feel that long because singles from his 2009 album were still being released the following year. This results in a 6 month lap between the last single released off his 2009 album and the first single to promo his 2010 album.

      To read the entire story, click here.

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