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What counts as an 'album' nowadays?

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Hayden




Location: CDMX
Canada

#11 | Posted: 12/22/2018 21:07 | Post subject: Reply with quote
By personal beliefs (if I were to release something), I'd call it an EP if it was under 24 minutes (which comes from a 33 1/3 speed 10"'s max length), and an LP at anything over. I don't really care how many songs are on it (one, two, fifteen, whatever). If an artist puts out an 8-minute two-track release and calls it an EP other than a single, cool, whatever. If an artist decides anything over 18 minutes is an LP, or anything under 30 minutes is an EP, I'm not one to be fussy about it either. Just don't call a single three-minute track release an LP or a 60+ minute release an EP (I'm looking at you Kendrick) and we're all good.

For the sake of including some great releases, I'd like to see BEA's restriction drop to 4-tracks/18-min, but by all means that's still an EP. Things were a little different pre-1950, but aside from that.

I'm not super hot on Kanye calling all those 18-22~ min releases albums, but I still appreciate the format size and the concept of a whole work within those margins.

And, reiterating, I don't care how many tracks it is. Keith's point of Dopesmoker should hopefully be enough to hold that.
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rkm





#12 | Posted: 12/22/2018 22:16 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I don’t have an answer, but I can say that I’ve found it difficult rating EPs next to Albums.

I’ve taken to creating yearly playlists to reflect my chart here, as a means of ranking albums. I go through and delete any tracks I can live without, which gives me a feel for how much I like an album. If I love every track on an EP, it may comparatively seem as strong as an album once the filler is gone (not that length is the only criteria for measuring an album’s worth).

Case in point... I like every song on this. It clocks in at 22min. Frustratingly short! I wonder why they just didn’t record a few more tunes and make it an album? Maybe artists are consciously making shorter releases because they’re aware of our attention spans, and the problem of information overload?


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elo269megv
Punk Rock Detective


Gender: Male
Location: Michigan
United States

#13 | Posted: 12/23/2018 00:42 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I’m no expert, and certainly not as old or experienced as many of you, but to me the words EP and LP directly tie into the vinyl format. In my opinion, a single is two songs (one on each side), an EP is four (two on each), and an LP at 8 songs (four on each). Obviously length was due to vinyl restrictions. Typically you could fit 5 min on one side of a 7”, maybe 10 min per 10” side, and 20 min for 12”. For this reason, many of the vinyl records I own range from 30-45 minutes (excluding double LPs). Ultimately it comes down to artist intent. Do they present this as one body of work, or a collection of individual songs? Does it have a consistent concept or theme? Should it? Today, there are no physical restrictions. Albums can be however long or short and artist wants. It seems like in the 90s and 2000s everyone was shooting for the hour long album. Now, maybe people realize shorter attention spans and are keeping albums between 20-30 min (like many 2018 releases). Ultimately I think the average listener has changed. I’d say a majority of people I know are what I’d call “song / playlist” based rather than “full album” oriented. People I know would rather skip around and listen to individual songs and not full length albums, which is fine, but it’s changed listeners habits and therefore the artists will change too.

Idk the answer but these are my opinions. I’m pretty confident an album is longer than 15 min. Personally I think 25 min is better but really it depends how much is accomplished during that time. It’s hard to justify concrete parameters when not all music develops evenly. If you had 10 songs all at 2 min a piece you’re sill sitting at 20 minutes. Is that an album? Probably.... what about Daughters’ “Canada Songs” at 12 min? Is that an album? Or can you imagine a Swans album capped at 40 min? What would that even sound like? Once again, I don’t know the answers but I’m pretty content with BEA’s definition at 5 song/20 min
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JOSweetHeart



Gender: Female
Age: 36
Location: East Tennessee

#14 | Posted: 12/24/2018 01:38 | Post subject: Reply with quote
carpents wrote:
How about 9? Smile

That's enough. I just now remembered that I have an album on tape that only has eight.

God bless you always!!!

Holly
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Space-Dementia




United States

#15 | Posted: 12/28/2018 00:22 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I feel like for the most part an artist will call a release an EP because either they might not have put as much thought and effort into it as they would have for an LP, or they're playing with an idea that they don't want to make into a whole album yet, or any other reason that would lead them to not want it listed with their actual studio albums. All Delighted People by Sufjan Stevens may be an hour long, but he probably didn't think it was enough of an artistic statement for it to be mentioned in the same sentence as Illinois or Age of Adz. And Daytona may be only 21 minutes, but Kanye and Push clearly put enough thought and effort into it that they both wanted it to be thought of as an LP. In general LPs get a lot more public coverage than EPs, so at this point it's just the artist's decision of how publicity they want the release to get.
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craola
my name's not craig



Location: Mobile
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#16 | Posted: 12/28/2018 00:24 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Space-Dementia wrote:
All Delighted People by Sufjan Stevens may be an hour long, but he probably didn't think it was enough of an artistic statement for it to be mentioned in the same sentence as Illinois or Age of Adz.

i've long thought this one was a shame. all delighted people was such a delight, and i was so looking forward to age of adz in light of it, but i feel all delighted people was the better of the two releases.
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Rockdrigo



Gender: Male
Age: 24
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#17 | Posted: 01/01/2019 00:59 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't like EPs. They are pointless. Why put out half an statement?

I'd like to have a more "mathy" argument, but for now I consider:
- 30min or more = Album (no matter what Sufjan says, an hour long "EP" is just and LP released in a gimmicky way).
- 20-30min = EP unless the artist clarify.
- Under 20min = EP; too short to be an statement on anything.

Before this year, I didn't think an album could feel "too short", but Kanye changed my mind, as I felt all of the 20min releases could have easily extended for 2-3 more songs and be just as powerfull.

Also, I would like an EP tag, like the one for Compilation, to have more order on the site.
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carpents




United States

#18 | Posted: 01/01/2019 01:13 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Rockdrigo wrote:
20-30min = EP unless the artist clarify..


OK, I’ll make sure you know mine is an album, not an EP. Very Happy
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Romanelli
Bone Swah


Gender: Male
Location: The Spokane Valley
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#19 | Posted: 01/04/2019 01:15 | Post subject: Reply with quote
And then there's examples like this...


Idioms Vol. 1 by Tera Melos

5 tracks...8 and a half minutes...
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Kool Keith Sweat
skronkist



Location: Tejas
United States

#20 | Posted: 01/04/2019 01:31 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Rockdrigo wrote:
I don't like EPs. They are pointless. Why put out half an statement?


This is one of the most boxed-in, naive opinions I've read in some time. Congrats
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