When you listen to as much music as I do, you acquire your preferences. Preferences that, in turn, can become annoyances when they’re not met.
Here are two of mine.
1. Double albums that aren’t long enough to need the second disc
Baroness, Yellow and Green (runtime: 74:59)
Arcade Fire, Reflektor (runtime: 75:12)
Hammers of Misfortune, Fields/Church of Broken Glass (runtime: 70:53)
I like all three of these albums. But, why? Why are these double-disc releases, when all of the music would obviously fit on one 80-minute CD?
Art, schmart; vinyl LPs were sequenced to sound good around the break required to flip the record over, and we do just fine when they’re on one disc. (Hell, my copy of Exile on Main St. is a single disc for a double-LP! Four whole sides!!) Your sequencing is not too good or too special or too important or a damn CD.
Baroness, you’re the worst of this bunch. Not only is the second half of your project on a separate disc, it has a four-and-a-half minute introduction to boot! If you’re going to do this, at least do us right, like Foo Fighters, who put more than 80 minutes of music on In Your Honor I & II.
There must be some industry rules or accounting that explain this. I hope so; otherwise, the level of artistic pretentiousness required to put a completely unnecessary second disc in everyone’s copy of the record is just too irksome.
2. Songs that fade out
I know some of you love fade-outs. One person told me that when a song fades out at the end, they feel like it “goes on forever.”
Not for me; it goes on my list of bands who were too unimaginative to come up with an ending that added something to the song. There are so many options: have a tight ending, an outro with a new part, a solo, everybody back off playing and fade naturally, or fade just some instruments (the drums, or everything but lead guitar) and let that instrument end it. Those are just off the top of my head. Do something, don’t just give up 90% of the way through your song!
You want something that goes on forever? Put a locking groove at the end of your side of vinyl. (Expo 70’s done a great job on this.) That is cool, and it does something interesting in that it makes you, the listener, actively stop the record instead of it coming to a stop on its own (cassette, digital, vinyl) or starting over at the beginning (CD).
What gets your goat musically?