Back when vinyl LPs were still in vogue; when musicians spent so much time thinking about track lists on albums. Remember when Capitol Records released the legendary band – Beatles albums in America and John Lennon was shocked at how the record label overhauled their arrangement as against their plan. Nowadays, in the advent of digital downloads and streaming services, the taste and method of listening to music has changed dramatically, and many artists have taken it upon themselves through the guidance of competent A&R personnel to pick and organize their track list for albums. There are some important things to consider when putting album tracks together for maximum impact in the digital age.
- The Need To Start Strong
It is more important than ever to start an album off on strong feet. This helps most music industry tastemakers and influencers to listen to the album from a musician and make a decision within the first 10 to 30 seconds on whether the body of work is important to playlists. In a nutshell, the chances are that albums get judged based on the quality of that intro or track 1.
Music listeners will never forget the influence that Falz and Dave had on their albums ‘27’ and ‘PSYCHODRAMA’ respectively. Both men were able to gain the attention of listeners. While Falz drew a line between the Nigerian politics and societal norms, Dave mobilized different themes in his life to hit bull’s eye. No matter what, musicians will control the narrative in songs and it will help sequence the album.
- Shuffling Is Not Snubbing
People prefer listening to tracks in an orderly manner and most fail to listen to the whole album every time. Instead, most people start the album from the beginning, enjoy a few songs, and then get distracted later. They may even stop listening before it gets to the final track. Rather, it is important for the album to flow well from beginning to end. Hence the opinion that the good songs should come between tracks 7 and 8.
- Add skits
Skits are the spoken word performances and humorous statements made between tracks. This lasts between 30 seconds to 1 minute. They help to calm the listener and portray another side of the musician to listeners. When the skits are complete, the next track must be energetic as the listener is already refreshed.
This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace