IS THE ERA OF GOOD MUSIC ALBUMS OVER?
Given the number of artistes that have released albums in recent times in Nigeria, did we get an equivalent of quality albums? Arguably, the numbers of good albums available in the country in the last two years have dropped significantly. I know times have changed, but like mobile phones and automobiles, despite the changing times spearheaded by innovation, we have gotten value for every latest phone and automobile we buy. The processors and transmissions, in regard to the two products respectively are all value for money. So, what is happening with the music albums in the industry? Why are artistes’ albums empty and devoid of substance and quality? Often, why is it that it’s the lead singles we already know that’s the only good thing in an entire album?
Once upon a time, listening to an album from a Nigerian artiste is equivalent to paying time to see a therapist or going into a specialized conference. Then, listening to albums drives you to your comfort zone; they take you on a journey where you find solace. Depending on your choice of music, up-tempo or mellow sound, there’s always something that connects you to the soul of the artiste singing. It’s like finding reassurance plus love in the most unusual place. But in recent times, trying to listen to an album from some Nigerian artistes is equivalent to trying to lose your mind. All we do sometimes is keep pressing NEXT until you get to the only popular songs you know. Seldom do you discover other songs that will impress you. For example, if we want to use the same standard we use, by expecting to get value from each latest phone we buy, why can’t we use same standard and expect to get value from every artiste’s album we purchase? We know these artistes are creative considering their released singles but why are their albums below par?
For me, I think some artistes rush to put an album out. I am also of the opinion that the idea of artistes constantly waiting on producers to ‘cook’ a beat, then they collect the instrumental and try to find words to suit the beat is one of the major reasons that limit their story line and disconnect their soul from the songs. The old idea is artistes get inspiration and write a song, and then they sit with a producer to create a beat to it. It does not have to be this way now but they must find a way to strike a balance to make their body of work more compelling. In my closing argument, I don’t think trend (in the music industry) is the problem; I just think some artistes have gone lazy. Putting a single out is different from putting an album out. Salute to all the artistes who have put out great albums. – Sesan Adeniji