I have a theory for why people don’t listen to albums all the way through. Anthony Fantano recently addressed the ongoing “death of the album” discussion—he argues that albums have in fact saturated the market, but people rarely listen to them cover to cover because they rely too much on the strength of their singles or repeat monotonous formulas song by song. Nevertheless, artists still need more than singles to support tours, and labels ultimately can’t decide which song ends up a hit—so the album persists.
First and foremost, it would be downright irresponsible of me to make any substantive claim, analytical, theoretical, or otherwise, about Eminem’s BET freestyle without first addressing the obvious. Like the pristine river that guides an untamed eye across the canvas, through dark mountain valleys and up into the great blue unknown—that archetype of the transcendental, that ineffable sublime—Eminem’s beard is nothing. And yet it is everything.
Can you feel it? Monday night at the science library. Three vending machine coffee cups and a hallucination of your girlfriend’s scent bear witness to your struggle—you’re new to the writing staff, and despite your general zeal for music and exegesis, you find yourself waylaid with uncertainty. What can you give to this blog? And what must you keep for yourself?