A guy named "Dollar Bill" recently posed the question, "Is the album dead?"
He was lamenting the fact that musicians no longer seem to be producing music that is more than a simply a collection of singles, and the fact that he posted about Jefferson Airplane's "Surrealistic Pillow" indicated to me that he saw the Album as an art form, which is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
So, I asked him if the last five years would be a decent time frame to explore to see if there were any albums out there ... and after spinning about 44 albums, I have found a few. Short reviews to follow, but in summary, from what I can tell, the music being produced today seems truly to consist of artists who are exploring their own genre, rather than expanding their talents into something truly original. And some genres have interesting ideas for theme albums, but their music sucks. I'll identify some of those.
I did find a few surprises however, and so without further ado, let's start with the top five albums of the 44 I've listened to in the last couple of days
1. Sturgill Simpson - Sound and Fury. This is a high-octane rocker that gets a bit smoother on the second half, like a road trip soundtrack where you are roaring out of the city and then when you get to the open road, you just chill on your smooth ride toward the distant mountains. It is said that when he finished the album, he got some Anime directors to make a film to go along with the music. That is a great idea: multimedia.