We are deep into Sefirah, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the release of the brand new A.K.A. Pella album. The most vocal fans [read as FANATICS] badger everyone who may or may not be connected to the project, “Nu, when will it be available???”. While the original release date was a couple weeks ago, like many a CD before it, it’s missed the original release date.
The good news is that when it does come out, we will all be so excited to finally get our hands on it that we will run to get our copy. And an hour after listening to it people will move on to asking when A.K.A. Pella 6 will be out.
Which brings up an interesting topic of conversation.
It’s a conversation about Jewish Music Hype.
Whenever we hear that a new album in the works, whether a general release date is announced or not, we are already in “IS IT OUT YET???” mode and after a certain amount of time we start getting impatient, which may or may not be the fault of the artist. If the artist announces a date and for whatever reason that date comes and goes with no album release, then in a way, they are asking for it. Isn’t it facinating how our excitement almost turns into anger when an album is not delivered as promised? I think this is a testament to the Jewish music scene, and if you are an artist, it’s a great reminder how passionate we fans are about our music.
The alternate scenario is where an artist announces he is working on a new project, but does not name a release date and in this case I can’t fault the artist for making us wait. While we are anxiously awaiting the album release, we definitely want the artist to take as much time as he needs to deliver the best possible product. We certainly don’t want them to cut corners and rush it the album out, simply because fans are pressuring for a new album.
Look at Avraham Fried. We waited five years between My Fellow Jew and Bein Kach, and six years till Keep Climbing. I would rather an artist take as long as it takes to do a high quality album then get inferior quality albums delivered more frequently.
Unfortunately, because of all the hype associate with a new CD, the longer we wait, the higher the expectations are, which creates an almost unfair situation for the artist. On the other hand, if the artist himself is guilty of overly pumping up expectations, then I have no sympathy.
The relationship between the fans and the artist is very important, and I think both sides bear certain responsibilities.
The artist has a responbility to not over hype the CD unless they are completely confident that they can deliver the goods on time since if they don’t, they will undermine their own credibility for future projects. Artists also must realize that their fans may no longer be fans when an artist continuously fails to deliver as promised. We fans take our music very seriously and can be an artist’s best asset, since we are the once who spread the positive word of mouth that every artist so desperately wants.
With that said, I think we fans also have a certain responsibility to keep our expectations in check. If an artist has a track record of over hyping, we should take it with a grain of salt so as to not be disappointed. And if an artist chooses not to name a release date, let’s not put extra pressure on them to rush the album just because we want it, because that can only hurt the production level.
Sometimes I wonder if we crave the lead up to the release even more than the actual release itself!
What do you think about this? Let’s hear it and get a nice thread going!