Sunday, November 16, 2008

Deluxe is Enough!

The latest trend in the music world is that of "deluxe editions" or "special editions" or "reloaded editions", much to the chagrin of music fans (and anal retentive iTunes catalogers like myself). It's getting to the stage where there's no reason to purchase an album in the first month of release because there's a 50/50 chance that it will be re-released soon enough.

Take Gabriella Cilmi. One huge hit with "Sweet About Me" and another unfortunate flop with "Don't Wanna Go to Bed Now" and her Lessons to be Learned album has been re-released. Why? Not to sure. Leona Lewis is another example. After only releasing singles "Bleeding Love" and "Better in Time" her Spirit album is getting the "Deluxe Edition" treatment. It includes a measly three new tracks, yet fans are expected to purchase it. The Presets have a new edition of their award-winning Apocalypso out now and other artists like Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Nelly Furtado and Duffy have also done this with their recent albums. At least in Cilmi and Lewis' cases their respective albums weren't that great to begin with. Kelly Rowland ditched half of her Ms. Kelly album and re-released it with a whole swag of new songs.

Rihanna too has hit payday with her Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded album, which itself spawned three singles, bringing the total number of singles from that album to eight (EIGHT!) They're even back to releasing songs from the old album, with "Rehab" hitting radios in recent weeks. As a matter of fact, to prove how much of a phenomenon Rihanna's album has become (it seriously is this generation's Rhythm Nation 1814, isn't it?) not only did it receive a "Reloaded" edition with new songs but also "Deluxe Edition" with remixes!

Beyonce too has gotten in on the act, except instead of releasing a standard edition of her I Am... Sasha Fierce double album and then re-releasing it months later with a newer shinier version, she has released the "Deluxe Edition" right off the bat. Why anybody would purchase the standard edition, which eliminates five tracks, is beyond me. Although, to be perfectly honest, why anybody would purchase any edition of I Am... Sasha Fierce is a mystery considering it's a terrible album. Christina Aguilera's Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits also comes with a deluxe edition featuring extra songs that, for some reason, they decided to not include on the standard edition.

It's a surprise then to realise that there are artists like Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Kanye West and Britney Spears who have the gall to actually release an album a year after the last one. Whod've thunk it?!? Two albums! In two years! Unheard of...


Dame James Henry said...

I know! I couldn't believe it either when I realized just how many singles had been released off of Good Girl Gone Bad and Reloaded. At the rate she's going, she'll release ever song on the album as a single and they'll all be huge. It truly is becoming the Rhythm Nation 1814 of our generation. I just wished that she had taken the brilliant "Disturbia" and "Take a Bow" and made an album using those as an inspiration; I think the record company was just too scared that an resulting album wouldn't match the success of Good Girl Gone Bad and that's why they did a Reloaded version.

Boy is that Sasha Fierce album a stinker so far! I've only listened to it once but you know you're in trouble when even the dance songs on a Beyonce album suck (That chorus in "Diva" is just completely awful). The only good song is "Single Ladies".

Guy said...

Call it schadenfreude, but I'm kind of revelling in the widespread panning of Beyonce's album.

I've never had the stomach to sit through an entire album of hers, but she could always be counted on for some great singles, and I'm not hearing any so far. (Popjustice is right -- "Halo" would have been so much better in Leona Lewis' hands.)

Out with Beyonce, in with Solange, I say. (Seriously, how bloody brilliant is "Sol-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams"?) As good as its title, and that's saying something.

Catherine said...

This is kinda offtopic, but what the hell.