courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/crobj/
The media is hailing the end of the album. If you can buy 1 or 2 songs you like instead of buying the whole album and being disappointed, why not?
When I first noticed this trend, I was actually pretty pleased because I figured if artists and record labels realized that people were able to buy just the songs they like, it would be in the artist’s (not to mention the record label’s and publisher’s too) best interest to make every song the best it could be.
I’ve seen albums where they cram 23 tracks on to a CD in hopes to convince buyers they are getting their money’s worth. I’ve also seen albums with only 10 songs, but all were stellar tracks. If it were me, I would rather have 10-12 songs that were ALL good (for my musical taste), then have 23 tracks where some is filler.
I’m not one to buy a single even if I like it. If it’s available as a free download on the artist’s My Space, I’ll download it. However, I want to know if the rest of the songs are great too. I’ll go on YouTube to check out if there’s any music videos or live music performances captured by the already converted.
If I am really passionate after that, then I’m going to buy the album and even a shirt (if they have great looking designs and have merch available for sale online). Hell, if I’m really convinced, I’ll start spreading the word about the artist.
To summarize: If you’re an artist, don’t make filler. You can write better songs.