Why 2014 Is the Year of Brilliantly Creative Album Releases
Simply dropping an album seems to be obsolete these days. Musicians are getting creative. . . so creative, in fact, that album releases have taken on an art form of their own. Our latest example? Maroon 5’s forthcoming album, V. Even though V is set to be released on September 2nd, the guys of Maroon 5 have been slowly revealing portions of their new album cover via social media. Judging by the early success of their catchy tune “Maps,” this album art thing is only adding to the anticipation. Maroon 5 is certainly not the first to promote an album creatively. In fact, 2014 has been a revolutionary year of creative album releases. Let’s cover them, shall we?
Talk about revolutionary. . .
Beyoncé pulled a fast one on us when she unexpectedly dropped her self-titled album last December (I know it wasn’t in 2014, but it’s been called her 2014 album, see?). There were no announcements, no hyperbolic headlines, no interviews. . . she just went boom — here you go. Here’s an
album aural and visual experience. The response was complete and utter Internet hysteria, to which I say . . . only Beyoncé.
I might be jumping to conclusions, but there’s a part of me that thinks her album release gave rise to this year’s whole creative revolution.
Wu Tang Clan
Rather than making a bunch of money on record sales and a world tour, the Wu Tang Clan took a more. . . avant garde approach.
Once Upon A Time In Shaolin was recorded in secret over a span of several years. The biggest twist came when the group announced that there would only be one physical copy of the album, and that it would not be available for commercial consumption. Like most fine art, the double album will be toured around art galleries and museums, and auctioned off to the highest bidder. According to RZA, they’ve already received a bid for $5 million.
Interesting Update: Bone Thugs N Harmony just announced yesterday that they’ll be following suit and releasing their forthcoming album to the highest bidder as well.
Flights can be painfully boring, and I guess Beck knows that. Last February, it was announced that his album, Morning Phase, would be streamed for free to passengers using Gogo Inflight Internet. It’s a brilliant idea when you think about it. What better time to discover new music than on a plane?
How To Dress Well
Preceding his album, What Is This Heart? Tom Krell of How To Dress Well released a trilogy of music videos. Each of the three videos, directed by Johannes Greve Muskat, were released within a month of each other. The videos (which are pretty dark, by the way) created quite a buzz in advance of the album’s release. The songs are pretty great too.
Bruce Springsteen’s been around for over 40 years, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t open to new and exciting ways promote an album. This year, he teamed up with CBS’s drama, The Good Wife, to promote his new offering, High Hopes. Rather than going the traditional route, his tracks were incorporated into the episodes. CBS even hosted a live stream of his album. Mixing mediums like that? Thoroughly genius.
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