By Victor Beigelman
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about listening to an album for the first time. If it’s an artist you love, your anticipation for the moment you hit play on your Spotify/iTunes/Sony Walkman/dusty vintage record player is almost unbearable. Amazing or terrible, the music is just hanging behind an invisible trapdoor, waiting to fill the vacuum that is your earhole. So whatever comes out first should do its best to make a good impression, right?
I’m still of the opinion that the first listen through an album should be top to bottom, front to back, no interruptions. I think most people are that way too, but Shuffle CultureTM has changed the way we listen to music. Regardless, that first song is key. What’s the tone you’re going to set with track one? Are you going to ease into it or just dive right in? Filler or killer?
Wait, what? The first song is called “Intro” and it’s 67 seconds long?
Albums that open up with a song that’s literally titled “Intro” as a clear tease/lead-in are a phenomenon I’ll never understand. It’s not that the songs are bad – quite the opposite. More often than not, you’ll come across an “Intro” opening song on an album that’s just fire, but turns to smoke in less than two minutes. I’m not an authority on what the bare minimum for song length should be, but Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic (Intro),” at 1:59 just isn’t going to cut it, especially because it’s amazing. Why can’t this be a full song? Why does it have to build more anticipation? We’ve already done that ourselves before we jump in. We’re literally all ears.