We all have favourite albums that are stocked up in cupboards, racks and for the people who are poor, on the floor. But what are the key elements that make these albums so good, well here are five that are integral for any album (I think).
Of course these aren’t the criteria’s that everyone looks to; however these are the ones that are most common in my favourite albums. Not all of the albums contain all five, but they have all have a good four or three.
1) Lyrical Integrity
First up is the lyrics, they must have some substance to them. There’s not much worse than unthoughtful, clumsy lyrics that make no sense or carry barely any meaning. I’m not suggesting that every word that rolls of the tongue must be profound or thought provoking, but it must have some substance, else it looks lazy and unimaginative. Prime example would be Liam Gallagher’s songs, as they seem to be similar words in a different order – boring.
2) Catchy Songs
I’m not suggesting that each song has to be catchy, but they must have some. However without them the album can easily be forgotten as most of the songs can’t be remembered as they have failed to etch a place in your brain (Which most catchy songs do). It doesn’t have to be a catchy hook, it can be a riff, a style, a sound, a lyric…be imaginative.
It’s awful when you’re listening to an album and for each of the songs you can easily name where it’s been ripped from. There’s nothing wrong with taking something and developing it with your own ideas, but blatant rips have no place in the music world. Unless it’s a cover. So it has to have a bands print on it before it can even be considered as a good album.
4) At least 10 songs
This is a very picky one, which probably wouldn’t make it on anyone’s list. But when you purchase an album for full price, you should expect at least 10 songs, else it seems like the band have no other ideas for songs. It is not the most important element, but it’s one that stands out when you’re expecting to hear another song, and it goes back to track one.
5) The ONE memorable song that sticks out
Every good album has one of these, try it now, think of your favourite album, and think pick up that song. ‘Cosmic Dancer’ (T-Rex – Electric Warrior) ,‘Elephant’ (Tame Impala – Lonerism), ‘Time For Heroes’ (The Libertines – Up the Bracket), I could go on. So, that one memorable song should really be there, so it can stand the test of time and be remembered by all.
There’s the five which I have curated, however they are not carved in stone so I would love some feedback to see what everybody thinks, and if there is an element I have perhaps missed!
Words by Alex Wise @al4563