My small corner will relatively soon be hitting the recording studio in Paris (dahling!), and thus needs help working out how the flip to choose what songs to put on the forthcoming album (ha!).
Ok, mus-os… What makes a good choice of songs for an album? Is it the lyrics? The tunes? A running theme? Diversity? If you were doing an album, how would you choose???
2 responses to “For the record…”
Depends on what you want I’d say. Put together an album of your favourites!
My opinion would be mix it up. Too many Christian albums saying ‘praise Jesus’ and nothing else. (That’s totally hertical I know. It’s not like it sounds…) I like your songs where you talk about your struggles too. I also ‘warm’ to a song first because of the tune, and the lyrics are important, but come second. Just my opinion.
Hmmm, been thinking about this for a while. What a good question! As you will know my only relevant experience in this field is listening to albums, so forgive me if my as yet unfinished thoughts are not only rambling but also a bit obvious to those with more creative experience! Anyway, these are my thoughts based on listening to lots of favourite albums:
Good albums do have some sort of common feature running through them, sometimes on a first listen they all sound a bit the same, but this impression, given by the “theme” being unique to the album or artist, soon gives way after a few listens to an appreciation of each song. I think the best things that songs on an album have in common is the artist’s personality, character and style coming through.
For me the best songs are about expression, where words, music and performance all express something together that is greater than the sum of their parts, it could be worship, confusion, hope, love, disappointment, all these things and more! So when I listen to an album (not on shuffle!) I don’t want the songs all to express the same thing but I also don’t want to be taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions or thoughts either.
In terms of tunes and lyrics I think a good tune can be what initially attracts us to a song, but given that, it is the lyrics which make it a timeless favourite. I’ll skip songs if I don’t like the tune, I’ll tolerate them if I like the tune but not the lyrics, but I’ll come back to them again and again if I love both and the way it is performed expresses the emotion, idea, story of the song.
In terms of order, I don’t know if these are good ideas or just the way most of my favourite albums are put together. Begin with a good powerful song, or two, put the quirky one about two-thirds of the way through and finish with something simple, thoughtful or powerful in a quiet way.
There you go, probably not much help, but I enjoyed thinking about it! I guess for me what I want to hear when I listen to your album is you, yes your beautiful playing and voice, but most of all your heart, your thoughts, your feelings, expressed with your personality.