Different Styles, Same Album

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Brian Dorn
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Different Styles, Same Album

Post by Brian Dorn » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:35 pm

How do you guys/gals feel about different styles of music appearing on the same album? Is it too jarring to the listening experience?
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Post by eeglug » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:47 pm

My favorite album is the Beatles' White album so I have no problem with mixing up a variety of styles. I'm actually more bothered by albums that doggedly stick to one sound the whole way through.

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Post by ott0bot » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:04 pm

I think it works sometimes. I like a cohesive album, but there are some fantastically disjointed albums out there.

One of my all time favorites is Marvin Gaye's "Here, My Dear". that is all over the place...but fantastic.

also the first Akron/Family record is pretty sporadic and I like it a ton.

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Post by JGriffin » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:21 pm

Only time I've really had a problem with it is on the Mike Bloomfield "Super Session" record, where Bloomfield didn't cut enough tracks for a full record and so they brought in Stephen Stills to record some really awful and stylistically unrelated crap to fill it out.
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:59 pm

Listen to Neil Young's Harvest. It's one of the all time 70's classics despite being totally weird and disjointed and very obviously from 4 or 5 very different sessions. There are small band acoustic songs there, big noisy Crazy Horse style rockers, grand orchestral numbers and a live solo song. Does anyone think of it as anything other than a great record? No.
Focus on writing great songs (or fostering great songs if you are the producer and not the artist). That's all that matters. In the end bands and artists sound like themselves regardless of what style they're playing.

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Post by GlowSounds » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:22 am

I'm all for it. But in my experience those in marketing and promotion sometimes are not. Can make their job harder... which is often to be able to easily categorize and label a product.

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Post by vvv » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:29 am

Hear Gary Clarke, Jr.'s Black & Blue yet? It's like AM radio on crack if it was a viable music source today, inna good way.
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Post by ubertar » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:36 am

Depends on what you mean by "styles of music", I guess. That could be interpreted more narrowly or broadly. If we're talking about rock albums, I think bands used to be a lot more versatile and offer more variety within a record in general-- that was normal in the 60s and 70s, where now, at least from what I've heard, which is admittedly limited, it seems that most bands make all their stuff sound essentially the same, even from record to record, let alone within the same one. But even the more varied stuff from the 60s or 70s would still fall into the same style of music, as far as I'm concerned.

If a record jumped around from free jazz to death metal to Balinese gamelan, that could be jarring, but if done well could be really interesting. But I'm not sure if that's what you're asking. Most people in this thread are interpreting "styles of music" as more subtle differences.
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Post by ott0bot » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:39 am

ubertar wrote: If a record jumped around from free jazz to death metal to Balinese gamelan, that could be jarring, but if done well could be really interesting.
Secret Cheifs III?

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Post by ubertar » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:45 am

ott0bot wrote:
ubertar wrote: If a record jumped around from free jazz to death metal to Balinese gamelan, that could be jarring, but if done well could be really interesting.
Secret Cheifs III?
Interesting... I'll have to check this stuff out, along with associated bands:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Chiefs_3
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Post by Brian Dorn » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:48 am

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:Listen to Neil Young's Harvest. It's one of the all time 70's classics despite being totally weird and disjointed and very obviously from 4 or 5 very different sessions. There are small band acoustic songs there, big noisy Crazy Horse style rockers, grand orchestral numbers and a live solo song. Does anyone think of it as anything other than a great record? No.
Focus on writing great songs (or fostering great songs if you are the producer and not the artist). That's all that matters. In the end bands and artists sound like themselves regardless of what style they're playing.
Yeah, that's true, Harvest is a fantastic album and fairly all over the place.
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Brian Dorn
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Post by Brian Dorn » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:55 am

ubertar wrote: If a record jumped around from free jazz to death metal to Balinese gamelan, that could be jarring, but if done well could be really interesting. But I'm not sure if that's what you're asking. Most people in this thread are interpreting "styles of music" as more subtle differences.
This is what I'm talking about. To give background info, I write, produce, and release my own stuff. These past few years I've taken to releasing singles, because my stuff is all over the place genre-wise. But I do miss releasing albums.

Some albums that are very disjointed work for me, and then others don't for some reason, so I thought I'd see what others had to say about it.
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Post by apropos of nothing » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:35 am

Not to thread-hijack, but thought it worth mentioning that this was the theme of my record. I wanted to make something that sounded like a mixtape in reaction to the very focused genre-fication of music over the last twenty years. I really like older albums that jump around stylistically some. Bauhaus' Burning from the Inside, the Sky's Gone Out, and Mask are all exceptional in this regard (to me).

My marketing technique is centered around not marketing very much (except to you, right now), so I can't really comment on the sales aspect of it very much, but people who like my album, really, really like my album. I have gotten very little ambivalence about it. :wink:

If you feel like checking it out, it's downstairs in my .sig line.
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Post by shedshrine » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:13 pm

Will be checking that out Apropos.

May be cheating as it's a soundtrack, but one that comes to mind with a purely intentional jarring changes playlist is the
David Lynch put-together soundtrack for "Wild at Heart". Metal, oldies, rockabilly, classical, Nicolas Cage does Elvis, etc.
But it works.

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Brian Dorn
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Post by Brian Dorn » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:45 pm

apropos of nothing wrote:Not to thread-hijack, but thought it worth mentioning that this was the theme of my record. I wanted to make something that sounded like a mixtape in reaction to the very focused genre-fication of music over the last twenty years. I really like older albums that jump around stylistically some. Bauhaus' Burning from the Inside, the Sky's Gone Out, and Mask are all exceptional in this regard (to me).

My marketing technique is centered around not marketing very much (except to you, right now), so I can't really comment on the sales aspect of it very much, but people who like my album, really, really like my album. I have gotten very little ambivalence about it. :wink:

If you feel like checking it out, it's downstairs in my .sig line.
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Took a listen, and it really works on your album. Very different songs, but they seem to tie together somehow. Good stuff!
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"Now that everyone is empowered with these tools to create stuff, has there been a lot more great shit coming out? Not really. You still have to have something to do with those tools." -Trent Reznor, Sound City

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