Does Album Sequencing Nonetheless Matter Within the Streaming Period?

“Some artists have began to suppose extra creatively about the best way to sequence their albums, figuring out that the standard mannequin of beginning-to-end listening might not apply.”

Picture Credit score: Joseph Baura

Though the way in which that individuals take heed to music has modified considerably lately, with the rise of streaming and on-demand providers, the influence of album sequencing on the general listening expertise has not diminished.

Album sequencing refers back to the order by which the tracks of a musical album are organized. The aim of album sequencing is to create a story or circulate for the listener, guiding them by means of a journey from starting to finish. The order of the tracks can have an effect on the listener’s expertise and influence the general impression of the album

Nice album sequencing can improve the themes and feelings conveyed within the music, creating transitions that easily transfer the listener from one tune to the following and taking the listener on a journey, constructing a way of anticipation, pleasure, and even catharsis over the course of the tracklisting.

Artists, producers, and report label executives typically spend a major quantity of effort and time fastidiously contemplating the order of the tracks to make sure that the album has a cohesive and significant narrative. The meant observe order might even be modified after the album has been recorded and finalized in response to suggestions from collaborators, A&R group members, and take a look at audiences, or to realize a newly desired circulate.

The influence of streaming on album sequencing

Streaming has modified how artists take into consideration album sequencing as a result of it has modified how folks take heed to music. Prior to now, when folks listened to albums on CDs or vinyl information, they might sometimes take heed to the music from begin to end, because the album was meant to be skilled. Nevertheless, with the rise of music streaming, listeners have extra management over the order by which they hear the tracks. They’ll skip round, repeat songs, or shuffle the tracks, disrupting the album’s meant circulate and narrative.

In response to this shift, some artists have began to suppose extra creatively about the best way to sequence their albums, figuring out that the standard mannequin of beginning-to-end listening might not apply. 

For instance, some artists take into consideration their albums as collections of particular person songs that may stand on their very own — and attraction to all kinds of editorial playlists — relatively than a steady narrative. Others experiment with together with interludes, skits, or different non-musical parts to interrupt up the album into distinct sections — not a “new” observe, by any means — and create a brand new circulate for the listener. 

The significance of album sequencing might have modified within the streaming period, however it’s nonetheless a vital side of the album-making course of. It could tremendously influence the listener’s expertise and notion of the music and assist to distinguish an artist’s work and make it extra memorable and impactful.

Starting on the suitable be aware

The primary observe of an album could be essential in complete consumption. It could function a hook to attract listeners in and encourage them to maintain listening, or conversely, if it fails to seize their consideration, it may possibly trigger them to lose curiosity and cease listening altogether.

In lots of circumstances, the primary observe is taken into account crucial in setting the tone for the remainder of the album and establishing the general temper and aesthetic of the music. For that reason, many artists put loads of thought and care into selecting the primary observe and making certain it strongly represents their total imaginative and prescient for the album.

The primary observe can be a major alternative for artists to make a press release and set the tone for the remainder of the album, and as such, it ought to be chosen fastidiously and thoughtfully.

Errors to keep away from throughout the sequencing course of

When sequencing an album, there are a number of errors that artists ought to attempt to keep away from making to create a cohesive and interesting expertise for the listener:

  1. Lack of circulate: One of many largest errors is having tracks that don’t circulate nicely collectively. The album ought to have a logical development, transferring from one tune to the following in a means that is sensible and enhances the general expertise.
  2. Overusing interludes: Interludes could be efficient in breaking apart an album and creating a brand new circulate, however they may also be distracting if used too typically or incorrectly. Interludes ought to serve a particular goal and add to the general listening expertise relatively than simply taking over house or disrupting the circulate.
  3. Ending on a weak be aware: The final observe of an album typically leaves the strongest impression on the listener — assuming they make it that far — so it’s essential to decide on a powerful nearer. A weak last observe can detract from the general expertise and go away the listener feeling unhappy.
  4. Ignoring dynamics: Albums ought to have a steadiness of various kinds of songs and moods, with quite a lot of quick and gradual, loud and quiet tracks. An excessive amount of of the identical sort of tune can rapidly turn into monotonous and boring for the listener.
  5. Ignoring pacing: The general pacing of the album can be vital. Too many gradual songs in a row could be draining, whereas too many quick songs could be overwhelming. A well-sequenced album could have a pure ebb and circulate to it.
  6. Neglecting to think about the album as an entire: The album ought to be seen as an entire entity relatively than only a assortment of particular person tracks. The sequencing ought to mirror this, making a cohesive and significant expertise for the listener.

By avoiding these errors, artists can create a well-sequenced album that engages the listener from begin to end and leaves a long-lasting impression — even within the streaming period.


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