Silly question, right? So far. But really; when is the last time that you bought a whole album? An EP? A track? I know that I personally haven't bought a single track since I moved to streaming.
It's all there! Millions of tracks at my fingertips for under $20. The only time that I buy a CD, album, or even cassette (yup, for some strange reason, they're back.) is at a concert merchandise table. I never even open them. I pay my admission price to Spotify every month, and in turn, they let me listen to whatever I want, whenever I want.
Back in the day, we would anxiously await the release of a new album, and plan to be at the record store on the release date. We would buy the album, race home, and listen to it from front to back. Then we would listen to it again. And again. We pondered lyrics. We wondered how each song was connected. We wanted to know how each song made its way from scratch paper to the final version. We wanted to tell the artist that we really loved the first tracks, but what were they thinking with track #6? We felt connected to them.
Fast forward a few decades, and here we are. The average artist traction in todays music industry is 1.1 tracks. Somehow we went from a 10 track album down to 1.1 tracks. We judge an artist on the 1 song that the record label pushes in front of us and tells us to like. It's not a coincidence that we found a hit song amongst all of the artists out there. We found a song because of promotion. The promotional budget for some pop songs exceeds $800,000. For one song. That's just promotion. Some tracks all in are well over a million bucks to make.
I'm not saying that songs with heavy promotion aren't good. Some are great. Exceptional, in fact. I'm just wondering when the last time you listened to an album from front to back? If it's been a while, I've got a treat for you! Check out an artist by the name of Houston Keen.
Houston came into the studio last month and cut some demo tracks. 10 songs, all original stuff. Our intentions were to capture some of his songs to arrange later on down the road. As I started working on the post production, I noticed how well the tracks blended together. There was a consistency throughout the songs, yet each one stood on its own and told its own story. It took me back to the good old days. As his stories unfolded, his authenticity was immediately apparent. I'm telling you, this guy is a songwriting genius! If you are looking for a new artist to listen to, this is the guy.
Disclaimer -- He has no idea that I'm writing this, so I promise that's it's not a rehearsed strategy to get you to listen to an album. In fact, it's really not even an album. These are demos. It wasn't supposed to be an album project. It was just a casual session. They weren't done in a million dollar studio by a famous producer. They were all recorded and produced here in Trenton Florida. Take a listen, and if you feel that he has what it takes, please consider sharing his music with a friend. I know that Houston is gonna have a fantastic career doing what he loves to do.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!