Third Eye Blind vocalist: Albums are an arbitrary concept; unnecessary in digital age

“Stephan Jenkins, lead singer of alternative band Third Eye Blind, is the latest person to agree that the album format is better off dead,” Greg Sandoval reports for CNET.

“Jenkins, whose band is known for such hits as “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper” and “How’s it Going to Be,” gave the keynote address at the SanFran MusicTech Summit on Monday,” Sandoval reports.

Sandoval reports, “‘I don’t think it’s necessary or useful,’ Jenkins told several hundred conference attendees. ‘The album is an arbitrary concept. It’s not something that has to exist.’

Sandoval continues, “In his speech, he mentioned that he disliked ‘album filler.’ This is a term used to describe the practice of loading albums with so-so quality in order to meet the required number of songs for an album… Jenkins is putting his money where his mouth is. He said Third Eye Blind plans to release three songs on November 18.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Spark” for the heads up.]

Arbitrary concept. Artificial construct. Case closed.

Perhaps the flawed “album” model is an artificial construct that was designed to grab more money by prepackaging the average (or worse) with a hit or two (at best)? We think that the health of the “album” shouldn’t be worried about by anyone other than those who profited from it. The industry can be “concerned” all they like and for as long as they wish, but at some point they should probably wake up and realize that the rip-off “album” paradigm they invented and nursed along for all these years has long since died. Have the funeral already and let’s get on with it.MacDailyNews, January 05, 2005

45 Comments

  1. The album format is simply one kind of form for the medium of music. Songs, symphonies, sonatas, sketches, collections, singles, oratorios, tone poems are just as valid as forms.

    No form determines whether or not the art is actually any good.

  2. Vinyl forever!!

    The argument made by our washed-up friend here is noble and true, but they could have picked someone else; you know, someone more trendy and today; than this has-been.

    The lesson here is to find someone that the sheep worship TODAY to get your point across. This is like Microsoft using Seinfeld for advertising.

  3. ALBUMS DEPEND ON THE ARTIST! Good songwriters and musicians routinely fill up an album with 10-20 good songs. Blanket statements like the above and the MDN take are just plain dumb. Music isn’t confined only to the big four and top 40 talentless hacks.

  4. The album is what it is. Sometimes it’s filler and sometimes it’s classic.

    Choice, though, is what the future is all about.

    If there’s a band out there that makes 10 great songs, they’ll sell shit loads of them. There’s still incentive to make quantity. It’s just that quality now (or at least marketability) now has more weight.

    There are still bands I’ll buy the whole album for. The White Stripes and Tool both come to mind. They have filler, too, but generally speaking it’s artful enough for me to want it.

    Can’t believe I’m agreeing with frickin’ Third Eye Blind on something, but go Stephan Jenkins!

  5. all true. the album is dead and for good reason. but i still like the idea of artists working on a set of songs which represent their artistic minds for a given time frame and releasing them all together in one nice little package. think of ok computer or lateralus.

  6. Why can’t people just let those that like albums buy them and shut up? It’s not like the existence of albums does anything bad to single tracks.

    No one ever brings this up, but the facts are that album length musical pieces, as well as individual songs and all sizes and forms in between have always been around IRRESPECTIVE of music delivery formats.

    In classical music days, when music performances averaged a few hours, there were still shorter musical pieces that were performed in people’s homes as well as the same short ditty’s or “singles” that were performed in bars and music halls.

    This stupid musician’s argument, that the album is somehow “bad” for music could as easily be turned on it’s head. One could say that you only need “filler” on an album if you aren’t creative enough or work hard enough to make enough good songs in the first place.

    I buy albums exclusively, based on the idea (my own belief), that if the artist doesn’t have what it takes to put out an entire album that can be listened to without skipping over the majority of the tracks, then they aren’t worth listening to.

    All other groups, no matter how popular today, fall into the category of “one hit wonders” after a few years. I’ve seen it happen a hundred times or more. The groups that last, and the groups that have talent, put out ALBUMS.

    The fact that acts like Britney Spears, or 50 cent only have one song on each album that’s any good and only put out one album a year anyway, tells you more about how little talent they have, than it indicates a problem with the album format.

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