We are just about to come in to the May of this year and already we have been graced with releases that have been great and some that have been poor. However, alongside these releases we have been given a handful of albums which, whenever you logged on to a computer you were sure to see; Whether it be Kendirck Lamar’s Damn or Ed Sheeran’s Divide, there was an album from the first quarter of this year that got the industry and audiences alike talking.
Yet it is in releases like this and others in the past that need to be brought in to question. As these albums that are extensively hyped by their target audience will get it circulating, they will get more and more people interested in this album, which will have been argued to be pre-release, the best of the year or even the best of the decade. Yet, sometimes this claim simply isn’t true. This is why it is important to ask whether or not we are sacrificing quality for the hype of an album by specific artists in general or even personally.
When I say, we sacrifice quality for hype, I in no way mean to say that these albums are bad. As in many cases they aren’t and in terms of the albums this year they are still some of the best releases that have happened so far. But, are they living up to the lofty heights many may have put them in before their eventual drop? No.
If we take the first big album of this year Ed Sheeran’s Divide, it is easy to see why this album got so many people excited, as after a year break where we heard nothing from the acoustic artist it was our first insight to what he had been doing in his time away and what he had been creating. Following on from the release of Castle On The Hill and Shape Of You this release was everywhere, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TV and these two tracks were on every station for the following months.
The same trend followed when the album finally released, he dominated the charts and everyone and their Nan was raving about Divide. However, if we were to take a step back and evaluate this album it doesn’t pack the same punch that either Plus or Multiply did. Sure the album as a whole is great, he is creating songs that are catchy and showcase his abilities but in comparison to his other projects it feels far less cohesive and simply doesn’t live up to the hype.
Yet for the likes of Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar and even Gorillaz, a band I myself am guilty of hyping, it isn’t their fault that these records then don’t live up to the hype that we as an audience create. As all of the projects that haven’t lived up thus far this year, from big artists such as the three above or even smaller bands such as Suicide Silence, are for the most part great releases but due to our infatuation with an artist or a band we set a expectation which feels almost impossible to live up to. When all is said and done I do believe that as an audience we do sacrifice the quality of an album for the hype, whether we are knowledgeably doing it or not.
But you know this is just my opinion right?