YouTube OK OK, we all love us some Mother Earth, and don't get us wrong -- we…
- Posted on Jan 10th 2013 4:15PM by Dan Reilly
Why? Well, flashback to two days ago when David Bowie suddenly announced he was releasing his first new album in 10 years. The Thin White Duke didn't beat around the bush and get his fans riled up by dropping tiny hints. He went for it, announcing the record and releasing a new song with a music video. A press release went out, news outlets reported on it and his fans got a preview of the album with an actual song.
Then, this morning, Beyonce goes and posts the news that there's a new Destiny's Child song coming. Awesome! There hasn't been one of those in years. Sure, we have no idea what it'll sound like, aside from another DC song, but it's impressive that such huge news was kept under wraps until she saw fit to break it. In these days of the down-to-the-millisecond news cycle, that's almost unheard of (then again, I get the vibe that anyone who breaks Beyonce and Jay-Z's code of silence disappears forever, so watch your back Kanye).
But then comes Timberlake to ruin everything. After midnight ET early Thursday morning, he takes to his social networks and makes an announcement that something (!!!!) is going to happen 12 hours later. And what do we get? A crappy video of JT walking into a recording studio, putting on headphones and saying, "I'm ready," followed by a countdown. In short: An announcement to preview an announcement to preview -- hold tight, now -- something!
All signs point to a new album from Timberlake, and I swear, if he doesn't release a full song in three days' time, I'm going to
Seriously, though, the man has 17 million fans on and 15 million followers on Twitter. Anything he releases will be an instant hit, so why wait? Why waste our time with a stupid video? People have been waiting for your follow-up to FutureSex/LoveSounds for almost seven years, man. Quit holding out. Hell, you could have launched the new -- remember, you own a stake in it -- today and used a new song to get millions of people to sign up. That's just good business (and I barely got through Econ 101).
Moving on. Timberlake isn't alone in this pointless practice. It's becoming all too common for artists to release 30-second song teasers, album trailers and other crap to get attention, and news outlets will report on it (like we've done in the past once or twice). For real: If you want to see me punch a hole in my desk, just put up a story with "teases new album cover" in the headline. The worst!
Who's been doing it the right way, you may ask? Well, aside from any artists that reward their fans with actual music and other newsworthy bits, the shining example has to be Radiohead. Yeah, yeah, everyone slobbers in adoration over everything the British quintet does these days, but you have to give them credit for releasing an entire album without any notice. The King of Limbs just appeared one afternoon out of the digital ether and didn't suffer from any lack of press.
The problem I have is that it's basically only big artists who do this, whether it's Timberlake, Muse or even my hero Tom Waits. A small act putting out an album teaser on isn't going to get any clicks from anyone but their diehard fans, unless it has nudity or something else that people like to mindlessly look at online.
So, a note to artists: We already like you (In some cases, we'll even say we love you). You should know by now that we really, really want to hear your new songs. Stop jerking us around for no reason and do what musicians do: music!