The Album as an Art Form

Now that mp3’s have taken a stronghold on music as media, the idea of making an album as one contiguous piece is often overlooked.

Personally I dislike the notion that albums can just be written as a sort of collection of songs from an artist during a certain time period; I give much more praise to an artist that releases seamless LP’s with big-picture moods and twists.

Luckily, two albums released today fall into the latter category.

Brace yourselves for this second official Ungodly Release, awarded to…

The Gorillaz- Plastic Beach

Blur frontman and primary Gorillaz brainchild/co-creator Damon Albarn obviously knows what he’s doing, demonstrated clearly in the Wikipedia-deemed “virtual band’s” latest album that keeps you listening eagerly for the next scene in their wild story.

Go ahead and try stopping after you’ve started.

Next, Montreal group The Besnard Lakes released The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night today.

This album all but defines epic. Combining aggressive, surly guitars with soothing vocal harmonies and gigantic drum sounds, The Besnard Lakes filled a fresh niche I wasn’t aware existed in my mind.

As a bonus, the record flies through its entirety without a single gap in the dynamic energy as a whole. This group seems to share in my affinity for album continuity.

So when you get a chance, make sure to find time for each of these records to be played out in full so you can take a step back, let your mind unfocus from the details and really hear the big picture.

Both records have been embedded in Lala players on the right for your use. If you can’t use those, you can listen to the full Gorillaz album at their site in the G-Player Section (you can even play the Plastic Beach Game), or you can listen to the single Stylo or a “Plastic Beach mini mix” at their Myspace. To sample The Besnard Lakes, you can listen to their single Albatross at their Myspace.

How do you feel about this “album-as-a-whole” discussion? Do you love these records as much as I do? Be sure to explain in the comments directly below this post.

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One response to “The Album as an Art Form

  1. Besnard Lakes is alright. I would have to hear the album. Upon first listening I kind of dig it, but it hasn’t really moved me. GORILLAZZZZZZ

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