music in review. music in discussions.

1: The Dreaded Second Album: What Goes Wrong?

For me, the debut album is a blessing.The debut album tells you exactly what to expect from an artist – which is all dialled down into 12 songs or so.

These 12 songs also happen to be the first and best song-writing ideas in one neatly arranged album package, too.

There’s just one snag about this.

You have to do a second album.

In what others call, “the second album syndrome or the sophomore slump” there is an insurmountable amount of pressure to follow such a great first album.

“The difficult second album is an enduring concept in pop mythology. Young bands, so the story goes, put their formative years into creating an explosive debut that draws on their whole life experience, then stumble when their record label forces them to do it all again only a year later.”

The Irish Times, 2009

We’ve all heard about the success of MGMT, right?

MGMT’s debut album Oracular Spectacular – with the likes of Time to Pretend, Electrical Feel and Kids – amassed high praise from consumers and critics alike, since its release in 2007 and was even lauded as the The 500 Greatest Albums of all Time via Rolling Stone magazine. Oracular Spectular was such an integral album that changed the landscape of indie and synth pop forever, and is, to this day, one of the most influential albums ever released within the same genre.

MGMT’s second album? Released three years after the first, Congratulations, although popular in its release to begin with … no where near matched its successor.

Was this because of the band’s complete departure from their synth-pop style drew them away from their initial fanbase, as they took a more progressive, guitar-driven sound for Congratulations?

Or was it simply because you cannot climb higher when you’re at the mountain peak already?

Let me know what you think.

Find out more what we can take from this all in tomorrow’s post about THE DREADED SECOND ALBUM.

One response to “1: The Dreaded Second Album: What Goes Wrong?”

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