The Album is Dead


Call an ambulance! cries Jake O’Brien – Cowell and Walsh have killed the album


The album is dead and it’s not coming back. It caught a parasitic disease that began with the move away from CDs and has ended with bands like Ash. The Northern Irish band recently threw in the towel and said that they would not be releasing any more albums; only their singles would reach the shelves, and they were set to release 26 of these over the course of a year. How well this will work though has yet to be seen. Nonetheless the band’s front man, Tim Wheeler, stated that “the way people listen to music has changed… with the advent of the download the emphasis has reverted to single tracks.”

To pick on technology would be a cliché. It would be a vicious stereotype against IT people and the wonderful techies that brought us file sharing and fast bandwidth or whatever… but it’s hard to hate a computer. It’s far easier to hate people.

With that in mind it’s time to actively hunt down and castrate Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. These two degenerates have ruined the album – in fact, it is safe to say that they’ve murdered it. While technology only beat up the album and left it for dead in some seedy internet back alley gasping for breath behind, Walsh and Cowell found it, raped it and then beat it to death with a giant red fluorescent ‘X’.

By marching people up onto The X Factor stage with dreams of winning the Christmas Number One, Cowell and Walsh have destroyed the emphasis on musically well-rounded albums. The masses of pig-ignorant fools that watch TV talent shows and find them in anyway moral or uplifting or good or family-friendly or watchable should take a look at the latest album chart and compare it with the single chart. In Ireland the album chart generally reflects whatever is being bought by middle aged, reasonable music fans, while the singles chart reflects a bunch of wankers that like fragmented synth, faux-feminism and ringtones.

Thus, the album has become a vehicle for the single. One or two genuinely solid tracks will be found among a heaving pile of dung. Outside the several dozen tracks that MGMT and Florence & the Machine have released or sold to some advertisement agency there really isn’t very much left on their debut albums.

In the cold light of the 21st century it has become the case that in order to find a really good album you must know someone who knows this stuff. I do not, but I know what I like. In that, it seems the public are getting tired of buying an album only to discover they have bought a single track surrounded by a vague smell of failure.