Column: R.I.P albums

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  • Check out this column Stillwater resident and Colourmusic rocker Colin Fleishacker wrote for The O’Colly. It’s a smart reminder of how albums were meant to be enjoyed.

The album as we know it is dying.

Since the inception of the iPod in the early 2000s, music listeners the world over have fallen victim to a hindrance destroying the way music is meant to be enjoyed, compliments of shuffle settings and 160-gigabyte MP3 players: aural ADHD.

There are three fundamental traits an individual with ADHD conveys: distractibility, impulsivity and hyperactivity-according to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association’s website.

Thanks to the evolution of music listening devices, these three traits have become a part of every music fan’s life, including mine.

In 2003, my dad gave me my first iPod on my 20th birthday. I felt more blessed than Israelites receiving manna from heaven above, now owning 20 GB of free space on which to put all of my favorite albums. The possibilities were endless.

After a few months, the newness of my relationship with my pocket-sized partner began to fade a bit. It was no longer enough to simply listen to an album all the way through.

I needed customized playlists and shuffle settings to appease the need for uniqueness. I searched endlessly for the perfect musical moments to encapsulate every second of my life.

I found myself walking from one class to another wearing down my jogwheel, hunting for the track that would best summarize the weather, time of day, my stride and mood within four minutes of bliss.

Before I knew what was going on, I was sitting at my desk preparing for the next lecture without having listened to one damn second of a song.

I had forgotten how to simply enjoy a good track, or even more so, to enjoy an album as an entity.

The act of recording an album is a labor of love. It is intense, exhausting and time consuming.

Everything else in life falls to the wayside and, at certain moments, it’s the only constant.

Colourmusic is preparing to release our sophomore album in March 2011. I am extremely proud of the record we have produced and am eagerly awaiting its reception.

What bothers me is that we have created this record in such a way that, to enjoy it the way it’s meant to be enjoyed, a listener should grab some decent headphones and listen to the album from beginning to end.

I doubt this method will happen with the majority of listeners who take a chance on this album.

Seriously, does any one still listen to albums from start to finish? I feel as though this is some sort of lost art, staring with listeners too busy shuffling their tunes around right in their faces.

My challenge to you, dear reader, is to take a small duration of time out of your life, sit down and listen to one of your favorite albums. I don’t mean “listen to an album while talking on the phone or checking Facebook.”

Give the music the attention it deserves. Let it soak into you aurally and remember why you loved this particular collection of songs in the first place.

Together, we can defeat aural ADHD one album at a time.

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One Response to “Column: R.I.P albums”

  1. Ben Bowlware Says:

    Thanks for this article Colin, I have been frustrated with this for quite some time as well. There will be no more Sgt. Peppers or Pet Sounds if people can’t find the time to sit down and listen to an entire album properly without the distractions of today’s digital world.
    Ben
    People,People

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