Tuesday, 19 June 2007

To Download Or Not To Download

For real music lovers, the internet offers the perfect scenario: to try before you buy. Gone are those days when you got amped and went out to buy a CD for the sake of it, only later finding that it really did belong in the bargain bin.

Although it's true that not all the people who like the albums actually follow it up and buy the album, a lot people do stick by the try-before-you-buy system. The situation helps not the consumer, but also adds the pressure on the artist to produce some high quality music, as they know that it will be heard way before it's actual release date. While the big mainstream artists may not be too affected by this (as their fans will probably buy their shit no matter how bad it is, see Busta's 'The Big Bang'), it has a huge impact on the underground. Many listeners (such as myself) base a lot my opinion on albums upon the first listen, and if it doesn't sound right once, it'll never be given a second chance.
Combining this with the fact that there is so much material out there available on the net, the average music lover has a big dilemma when looking over albums in sites such as Bossplayer and Hip Hop Bootleggers; to download or not to download. Is it really worth downloading that album from a artist you haven't even heard of, and even if you do, are you really gonna have the time to listen to it?
As my listening time is now very precious, I base my decision on whether to download an album (if is hasn't already been recommended by a trusted source) by a previously unheard-of artist on two factors:
1. Features some artists whose music I have heard before, and enjoyed listening to;
2. Some nice artwork.
Although they may not be the most robust methods to decide, it's worked for me so far, and I'll keep on using it until something better comes up. So a message for all the newcomers, invest wisely on some decent artwork, and you will be rewarded. Now onto an album that ticks all the boxes...
Deep Rooted - The Second Coming

Deep Rooted is a quartet consisting of Mr. Brady, Brea, Johaz and DJ Artistic. This is their sophomore effort (if anybody have their first, hook me up!), and is one of those sit back and relax type albums. Brea provides most of the hooks, with her R&B style, and Mr. Brady and Johaz handle the mic. The album flows perfectly, and is the perfect soundtrack for a lazy Sunday.
Jazzy hip hop at it's best is how I would describe this album. Production is handed by the aforementioned DJ Artistic and Mr. Brady, with contributions from Jake One and Oh No. Guests include One.Be.Lo (who seems to be able to do no wrong wherever he appears), Alow Blacc, Abstract Rude & Planet Asia among others.
My choice cut on the album has got to be 'Memories', a definate head-nodder, with a simple and addictive hook. I'm definately looking forward to some more material from these guys, fingers crossed.


Kazeiro said...

Welcome to the blogging family.

'To Download Or Not To Download' is a question that comes to my mind everyday, mainly when I post new albums on my blog, or when I recieve complains from the labels, I have thought several times about start posting only the old stuff.

I actually laught when I saw your factors, because I also base my decisions on them.

And I never heard about that album, but I'm a sucka for Jazzy hip hop so I'm checking it out.


Mystik Journeyman said...

You can get Deep Rooted's first album here.

Everyday I peruse a regular set of blogs and, yes, when I'm on the likes of HHB and Bossplayer I do the same thing too - Like the guests artists? Yep, I'll have it. Don't recognize the guests artists but it's got some interesting artwork? I'll have that too.

Trouble is I download more on the average day than I can listen to. I'm lucky in that I can listen to music all day long at work but, when you're concentrating on that, you don't always take in the lyrics.

The great thing is that downloading this stuff has not only provided the unfortunately necessary 'try before you buy' option but it's introduced me to loads more artists and, yes, I buy the CDs of the stuff I expect to listen to regularly.


P.S. HHB's moved to http://hhbreloaded.blogspot.com/