The State of The Surprise Album

The Ringer

Speaking of The Ringer, here’s Lindsay Zoladz, writing about the idea of the “surprise album” release:

“Surprise” is pop music’s latest fetish commodity, a new but widely accepted virtue in an industry desperately trying to adapt to the demands (and attention spans) of the digital age. The album promotional cycle used to be pretty uniform: Announce the release date a few months prior, send a single to radio, and tour once the album comes out. But these tactics have now been replaced by, say, obtuse teasers that often feel like perfume ads directed by Terrence Malick and promotional hieroglyphs graffitied onto urban sidewalks (and which often, in the case of Arcade Fire and more recently Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, result in apologies).