Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and I’m coming at you all with an unplanned post, but it’s something that has made me simmer with mild anger for a while, and a recent article I read just triggered me to finally speak my mind about it, so here I am with a rant for you all. Don’t judge me if I seem to get a little enraged. I’ll apologize for that in advance.
So, I came across an article this morning from thenextweb.com that talked about Drake’s new album “Scorpion”. I just released a review of this album last night, so check that out here. The article was saying that, just overnight (after I did my review, of course), Drake made changes to his album. These were not huge changes, like adding another song or anything, but just tweaking the mixing and mastering on all the tracks and maybe adding a vocal snippet here or there. These changes are not large and are kind of hard to notice, but it really irritates me when artists do this, and here’s why.
First of all, it kind of feels cheap when an artist does this. Like, when an album is released, it should be a finished product, but when it comes out that an artist updated the album, it almost feels like we were given an unfinished product. The first big time an artist did something like this was Kanye West’s 2016 release “Life of Pablo”, which I regard to be an album I really love. For him, I understand his point in doing it. Kanye has always made sure to start some kind of controversy with his album rollouts to get people talking, and with this album, he released the original version exclusively on Tidal. But, after revising it again and again, the final product landed on all streaming services, so these updates to the album were the controversy he chose to use to get people to listen to the album. I can’t say I’m a fan of what he did, but this was the first time something like this happened, and this should be expected from Kanye.
However, after that, more people started doing it. Only a couple weeks ago, Teyana Taylor released her new album “K.T.S.E.”, and she claims that she’s releasing an updated version soon–which we are still waiting for–and Drake just tinkered with his album without warning. It is as if artists are just doing this because they aren’t satisfied with what they put out. The artist should finish their product before they release it to the public. That also leads me to my next point.
What about the people that buy the album on a hardcopy? If I bought “Scorpion” the day it came out on CD, then I would not be able to listen to the new version when he updated it. The CDs just don’t magically change when the artists tinker with the digital version of the album. That’s not how physical objects work. You could twist this and say “Oh, then they have like a ‘collector’s edition’ of the album and can sell it for a lot in the future”, but then if someone were to ever listen to that CD, they are getting a version that is technically outdated, and a version that even the artist doesn’t approve of.
My last point might not be as relatable to everyone, but when an artist updates an album like this, it’s kind of a blow to reviewers. See, when an album comes out, everybody rushes to put their reviews and critiques forward. I’ll admit I do the same with my album reviews, usually not doing a review on an album is it is over a week and a half old (for most of my songs, I usually look to the Billboard charts, so that’s a bit different). And, even with that, I feel I end up being one of the last few to put a review out on an album. Some sites post their reviews the day after it’s released, or even the day of. When an artist releases an album, all the reviewers like myself will flock to it, but if they release an updated version, then everyone already has their review out. The artist has a cheap way of shunning the reviewers by saying they did not review the “real” version of the album, leaving this update trick to be a way to ignore critics.
So, that’s my thoughts on album updates, and why I think they need to stop. Now that Drake has done it, I just pray that this doesn’t become a trend, because trust me, I will be mad if it does.
Thank you for reading my this rant. Hopefully I did not get too triggered. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have a song or album you would like to see reviewed, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep listening to good music! I know I will.