Is the Deluxe Album Trend Bad For Music?

I found this conversation over at Complex, talking about the “deluxe album” trend, interesting:

Whenever an artist released a deluxe album last year, there were usually comments like “no one asked for this.” And in theory, I can agree with the perspective that less is more. Artists like Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean have built incredible legacies by being selective with the music they’ve decided to share with the world. But complaining about new music has always been a ridiculous concept to me. No one is forcing you to listen to these deluxe albums if you don’t want to. They serve a purpose. Hardcore fans will be happy to hear new music, and casual listeners can pick through and save their favorite songs to playlists. We always hear stories about rappers like Future and Thug making eight songs in a night, so why not share some of those with fans? During a pandemic when artists were scrambling for ways to make money, this trend makes sense. I will admit one downside, though, is it opens the door for fans to start pressuring artists into dropping more music just moments after the release of a new project. Watching fans hound Playboi Carti to release a deluxe album full of leaks within hours of Whole Lotta Red dropping was a low point. Let him live for a minute. He finally dropped the album!

Personally, I’m more a fan of deluxe albums than I am the “new” EP re-packaging for streaming services technique. (Or just releasing only singles.) I’m always down for more music from the artists I love, but I think letting the album breathe after its release, for fans to sit with and digest, is also important.