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The Power of The Single


When I was younger it felt like the single was king, I'm sure it wasn't though. The charts felt like they meant more, there was some decent singles that soaked their way through into the top 40 every now and then and some of the pop was genuinely quite imaginative. Fast forward 10 years to 2018 though and it feels as though the charts are there to be reaped by the lowest denominator. Whether this is a question of streaming now being accounted for in the charts, or if it's just a mission to create a catchy tune with no sort of substance whatsoever.

I feel like the perfect example of this would be to look at Calvin Harris. A fair few years ago he was making some imaginative dance, plenty of it was critically acclaimed with tunes like "Acceptable In The 80's" - I never personally liked that but the idea behind it of infusing some elements of techno along with a tune that sounded like it was straight from the 80's. Then Calvin Harris started to hire people to feature on his songs and collaborate with other DJs and Producers to the extent where he has become just another run of the mill DJ. I find a lot of his music quite catchy and fun but there's no denying that he's just trying to appeal to as many people as possible and ensure that there's more than enough streams to get his single in the charts.


On the other hand though, as I've gotten older I've grown to appreciate more genres of music, I love listening to a whole album, soaking it up. Listening to an album gives me the idea and sense of a project as a whole. Sometimes you can hear a single and not enjoy it yet in the context of an album it just fits in so smoothly and perfectly. A perfect example of this is all the singles for Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, Maad City with the exception of Swimming Pools.

As a matter of fact, I actually enjoy albums more if I haven't listened to the singles. Take Slaves' new album Acts of Fear and Love as an example, loving the singles "Cut and Run", "Chokehold" and "Phot Opportunity" was more of a curse than a blessing because when you put the album on you're waiting for the singles because you already know and love them so it diminishes the listening experience - hence why it took me s long to get the review out for the album because I had to get past that.

Essentially, it all comes down to what sort of listener you are - some people may not be fazed by the singles they've already grown to love on the album and others may not ever bother to listen to singles. Let me know what you think...

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