With little to no promo, Future
just released his new self-titled album last week. It was definitely not a short album, featuring a whopping 17 tracks, and guess what - that's not it.
Shortly after, Future announced another album, HNDRXX
, to be released this Friday.
Let's pause for a second and talk about long albums in general. It's unnecessary for any album to ever contain 20 tracks; even if hypothetically they're all good, I guarantee some tracks could easily be cut without being missed. Long albums are self-indulgent. The filler songs take away from the truly great songs, and if you're like me, just looking at the track list alone can exhaust you.
But don't worry, Future, we're not here to pick on you. There are a lot of artists with long albums, like The Weeknd
, Frank Ocean
G-Eazy's When It's Dark Out,
's Mind of Mine.
But probably the best example, the most bloated and hyped of them all, is Drake
Let's be honest, it wasn't very good. A lot of Drake fans claimed that they experienced a little bit of boredom when digging through the never-ending record. If we were to cut almost half of the songs out, we'd be left with a pretty damn good record filled with "Controlla," "One Dance," and "Too Good," but instead, we're forced to plow through all the shit to get to the gold. And why include "Hotline Bling," a song that was about a year old at that point, right at the end as the soggy cherry on top of the stale cake?
Here's why: STREAMS. The more songs that are on the album, the more streams they get, which leads to more money and higher placement on the charts. So yeah, basically all of these artists are cool with putting out mediocre albums that will get them more money rather than putting out high quality albums that their listeners can enjoy the entire way through. It's essentially the same as an immature high school student using a bunch of unnecessary filler sentences in a paper to meet the requisite length. The quality is decreased and it's hard to read, but hey, at least they met the requirement.
But beyond lengthy albums - what I really want to talk about is artists with excessive musical output. I wasn't surprised by Future releasing a 17-track album, but I was perplexed by him releasing another album immediately after that.
Less than half a year after the release of Views,
Drake released three more new songs, "Fake Love," "Sneakin'," and "Two Birds, One Stone," which are now a part of his upcoming album More Life
out March 4th. And while, yes, he didn't do this all in two weeks like future, six months is still a short amount of time in an industry where many artists take 1-3 year breaks in between. Were his listeners ready for new material so soon? Didn't they need a little break after the disappointment with the last one?
Something that I always say is that if you're a musician, your job is to make music. We don't want any of that "I'm going on a four year hiatus" stuff... But now that I think about it, there's something so wonderful about having to wait a painful two years for a new album. When I'm not overexposed to my favorite artists, I give their new music the opportunity to really sink in when it finally arrives. It gives them time to rediscover themselves and experiment with different sounds. Frank Ocean took four years (maybe you don't need to take that long) and came back with a much more intimate, lyrically-driven record, as opposed to Channel Orange.
Because the world hadn't heard from him in quite some time, we all felt patient enough to take the time and fully soak up each track. The 1975
waited three years after the release of their self-titled to drop I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet unaware of it
and they pleasantly stunned the world with their refreshed, electronic-pop sound, satisfying their day one fans as well as gaining new ones. That's the thing with Drake and Future - they aren't evolving much as artists. Everything is starting to mesh together and sound the same. Beach House released two albums simultaneously, Depression Cherry
and Thank Your Lucky Stars
, but that worked out because the world had waited for the former for so long, that the idea of not one, but two seemed thrilling. Both albums were quality, and they stopped after that. But even here, in a situation where it made more sense, people still tend to compare which of the two albums is better, instead of just appreciating them both separately.
So are we on board with Future releasing another album? We respect his work ethic, but we'd love some time alone with the first record before we indulge in another.