Should you listen to a music album’s songs in order?

Answered Dec 18

Yes, musicians may take effort to place the songs in a certain order, to change the mood in a certain way.

The liner notes for Lou Reed’s “New York” directly say that it is intended to be heard in order, in one sitting, similar to a book or a movie.

There are other artists’ albums like this, which may even be organised as a sequential story (Pink Floyd and Roger Waters being an obvious example).

For popular music, some of this was sort of based on having sequential LP records and cassette tapes, where targeting one song on an album was a hassle.

Do you think “adult” pop stars like Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus are ruining women? Why or why not?

Updated Dec 15, 2017

“Ruining”? No.

Negatively influencing some females (especially, say, 12-year-old girls)? Yes.

Ten years ago, the original target audience for Miley Cyrus actually was 12-year-old (or younger) girls, when she starred in Disney’s “Hannah Montana”.

Pop music in general has always had a major target audience of teenagers. Insecure people who are still formulating their ways of socialising and presenting themselves, along with their sexuality. People who lack life experience enough to really question media messages.

Popular music has always been largely about the visual appearance of the performers, and the constant message, “This is cool. This is what people admire. This is the way to feel powerful and grown-up”.

It has always had a large focus on pushing boundaries sexually (both libido and androgyny), and annoying your conservative parents.

It often isn’t exactly dignified. Remember KISS, or some of Elton John’s outfits, from the 1970s?

But, like society in general, it escalates. Sixty years ago, Elvis Presley merely swinging his hips a little was decried as unacceptably lewd and vulgar.

If anyone ever invents a real-life time machine, I want for them to teleport 1980s-era Twisted Sister back to 1950s-era Ed Sullivan Show. That would be cool.

The 2004 Janet Jackson Superbowl Wardrobe Malfunction ended up being viewed as a joke, and internet click-bait, but would probably have caused 1950s television sets to explode. Including for the racial implications.

The bar gets progressively raised for what is perceived as scandalous (and therefore attention-getting and profit-generating). Unfortunately, the bar has now been raised by the mass growth of pornography. Within pornography itself, the bar has been rising, in terms of aggression, up to open violence.

And perhaps, mass-market female pop stars have started to function as a sort of conduit between adult-level pornography, and the music videos being watched by impressionable young girls.

“This is cool. This is what people admire. This is the way to feel powerful and grown-up”.

There was a time, long before I was born, when bobbysoxers and teenyboppers were cool.

When I was 12 years old, my idea of an admirable, gorgeous pop star was early-80s Stevie Nicks (actually, I still think that). A long way from the images and role-models that 12-year-old girls are being fed now.

It has escalated to the point where I view it as very harmful to individuals, and to society. Unfortunately, progress is often harmful, and I don’t see any viable way to put this toxic genie back into the bottle.