Why Don’t We Listen to Entire Albums Anymore?

by Emily Vickers

In today’s age of technology, there’s always something new to listen to, watch, cook, attend, and so on. With this constant stream of new media and stimulus, our brain begins to expect more and more. This also means we get tired of things much more easily. With streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, the amount of music we have at our fingertips can be overwhelming.

Despite this, the importance of listening to an album in order, all the way through, remains. Many artists in past years have been releasing Extended Play, EP for short. An EP is a record that has more tracks than a single, but it doesn’t have the qualifications of an album. EPs allow artists to release new music on a regular basis and retain the attention of their audience.

Even still, many people don’t even listen to the shortened version of an album all the way through. I’ve heard various artists say in interviews that they consider their album to be a story, and many of the tracks are intertwined. So, without listening to the entire thing, you are missing part of the message.

I’m an album listener. Something about knowing the order of the music shows you a different side of the artists. Popular R&B/Pop artist Khalid released his debut album in the summer of 2017. If you listen to the album in order, all the way through, you can hear how each song is connected. In the transition from the last song on his album, “Angels,” back to the first song, “American Teen,” you hear the same sound of birds chirping and an alarm clock chirping. Khalid says that “Angels” signifies the beginning stages of sleep and “American Teen” is preparation to wake up.

If you’re currently stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, take some time to listen to some new albums in order, all the way through. You might realize how much you like an artist, aside from their most popular songs!