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Old 08-21-2010, 08:18 PM   #41
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The album length is perfect. The whole point is the overall theme weaving in and out of the songs throughout.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:39 PM   #42
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Why did I get an hour's worth of music when I paid for this album? I should have only gotten 40 minutes or so. That would have been much better. What is this horseshit?
One might argue that forty minutes of consistent quality is preferable to an hour of inconsistency. Would you really have preferred that an album like Kid A, for instance, had songs like "Transatlantic Drawl" just tossed into the mix because they were available? I look for an album to be a cohesive experience, and to me using the word "suburbs" in every other line does not necessarily make a cohesive experience.

I think that High Violet offers an interesting contrast to this album. Both are about middle-age frustrations, but the National is able to make their point with atmosphere and metaphor rather than repeated explicit invocations.

And just for the record, I like The Suburbs. It has some incredible high points. I simply think that, in haranguing the listener with the theme as adamantly as he does, Butler has either severely underestimated the intelligence of his audience or severely overestimated his own intelligence.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:17 PM   #43
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I think that if The Suburbs were to fuck High Violet and they conceived, a new religion would be formed.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:06 AM   #44
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Why did I get an hour's worth of music when I paid for this album? I should have only gotten 40 minutes or so. That would have been much better. What is this horseshit?
Here's an analogy you can appreciate: director's cuts don't always mean a better film.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:07 AM   #45
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Did you guys ever use the phrase 'call on'? as in 'let go call on GAF' when you were going to knock on someones door? It's something I havent heard in years, but I dont know if it was a colloquialism. I dont imagine anyone at all uses it these days

That makes me think of Cori referring to her dates as "gentleman callers".
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:13 AM   #46
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The difference between an album with more song than you like and a film that's a half hour too long is that the album is (more or less) always just a collection of songs and most of the time you can easily skip or outright excise the parts you don't care for and craft your own most pleasurable listening experience. Hell, isn't the preferred past time of the majority of people in this subforum playlist-making? You can't exactly cut out parts of a film you don't care for or chop it down to a more digestible length if you're feeling antsy. Not sure the director's cut analogy has much relevance here either. Because yeah, 99% of all albums you'll listen to are a collection or related and hopefully cohesive/unified but entirely separable works.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:22 AM   #47
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i would side with iron yup. i listen to 95% of the albums i listen to all the way through. i like the idea of creating a playlist but it's too hard, and then you're not really listening to the album anymore.

a shorter, more focused, more cohesive album with little filler (like say Pink Moon) will always be better than an overlong album with plenty of brilliance let down by average songs, at least the way i listen to albums that's true.

...but then again, there are plenty of sprawling double albums that i wouldn't cut a second from.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:25 AM   #48
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I agree it's nice if you don't feel like skipping, and sure 16 great songs would be better than 13 great songs and 3 average ones, or however you feel about this album or that. But is the same album with just the 13 great songs really so much better? How much exactly does it really make a difference?
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:52 AM   #49
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we're splitting hairs here. a great album is a great album.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:49 AM   #50
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There are a number of ways that they could have cut the length of the album proper while still making the whole corpus of songs available. They might have released three or four of the songs as a free digital EP or something. It's great that they want to give the fans substance for their money, but they could have done it in a more inventive way, I think.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:28 AM   #51
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But the songs that you're implying are just filler are top 5s for other people, so the implication that they're just there to hammer the audience over the head isn't necessarily true. It's entirely subjective, but some of us genuinely like the songs you mentioned
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:36 AM   #52
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Well, lyrically they may be hitting you over the head, but musically I don't find it to be repetitive.

Also, I'm starting to like Month of May more, despite the the aforementioned lyrical issues.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:40 AM   #53
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Month of May only got me when I heard it live
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:47 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Lancemc View Post
The difference between an album with more song than you like and a film that's a half hour too long is that the album is (more or less) always just a collection of songs and most of the time you can easily skip or outright excise the parts you don't care for and craft your own most pleasurable listening experience. Hell, isn't the preferred past time of the majority of people in this subforum playlist-making? You can't exactly cut out parts of a film you don't care for or chop it down to a more digestible length if you're feeling antsy. Not sure the director's cut analogy has much relevance here either. Because yeah, 99% of all albums you'll listen to are a collection or related and hopefully cohesive/unified but entirely separable works.
Fair enough. We appear to think of the concept of albums very differently.
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:26 PM   #55
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:27 PM   #56
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a shorter, more focused, more cohesive album with little filler (like say Pink Moon) will always be better than an overlong album with plenty of brilliance let down by average songs, at least the way i listen to albums that's true.
Have to side with Friggin Cobbler on this one (nice example too). You shouldn't have to cut out multiple tracks in order to salvage the good ones. Obviously, 5 terrible tracks are more harmful to a 10 track album than a 16 track album, but the latter would still fall short of a taut record with no filler. Of course, that discounts the possibility that the other 11 tracks are among my favorites ever.

In the end, it doesn't matter, really. There are...ADVANTAGES TO BOTH. However, the only double album in my top 50 is Prince's Sign O The Times, so there's that.
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:59 PM   #57
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But the songs that you're implying are just filler are top 5s for other people, so the implication that they're just there to hammer the audience over the head isn't necessarily true. It's entirely subjective, but some of us genuinely like the songs you mentioned
I understand that, and I wouldn't try to convince anyone that certain tracks are "better" than others. I do think, however, that song selection is a critical part of making a great album. For example, some of my favorite individual tracks from the In Rainbows sessions are on the bonus disc. That said, I would not makes any changes to the tracklisting of the actual album. Despite a wealth of high-quality songs, the final construction has a flow and feeling about it that the other tracks would not have supported as strongly.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:07 PM   #58
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ADVANTAGES TO EACH!

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Old 08-22-2010, 05:39 PM   #59
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Fair enough. We appear to think of the concept of albums very differently.
I think it depends. We certainly view it a bit differently, and I'm certainly exaggerating my point here a bit just to make it. But what I'm really saying here is, the band puts out a 16-song album, clearly an artistic choice, and you get the feeling it becomes a bit too repetitive at times or some of you don't care for some of the songs. So should the attitude become, "Gee, there's way too much music on this album, I wish these 3 or 4 songs weren't on it." or "Gee, this would be better if these 3 or 4 songs were a lot better and I liked them as much as the others?" And as JT pointed out, the handful of songs one person things are the weak thing are another one's favorites, and there are those who thing the entire thing is excellent. As for me and In Rainbows, since someone brought it up, it's not like I listen to the five songs on the album that are excellent, and then listen to the five songs that are shit and wish the album were only five songs long. No, I just wish I liked the other half of the album more or that it worked for me musically. I just can't really get behind the argument that the primary problem with an album of popular music is simply excess or length.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:27 PM   #60
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It's hardly ever a primary problem, but you can be of the opinion that trimming out certain tracks would make experiencing the album a little more rewarding. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I do treat albums sort of like films in that I feel compelled to listen to them straight through, even the tracks I dislike or, in the case of "Rococo," despise. For me, The Burbz could have been a real masterpiece if it weren't so damn dense. As it stands, it's an excellent album that just barely misses out on being an all-timer. It's a problem that could have been fixed by not plodding along over 16 tracks, some of which cause the others to not resonate as well as they could. To compare, The Stage Names is a better album in my mind because of its cohesiveness, killer songs, and relative brevity, even if its nine tracks might not be as good as the best nine tracks from The Burbz. Much of what ended up on The Stand-Ins could have been easily placed on its predecessor, but The Stage Names is better for not having too much music.

Of course, this is only really an issue if you're married to the idea of listening to albums straight through. You're not, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. We all listen to music differently.
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