Before we dive into the impending rise of the “secret album,” I would like to tell a little music story. Picture it, Tuesday, May 16th, 2000. I was just a young-music-bitch-in training who was eagerly anticipating the release of Britney Spears’ highly anticipated second album, ‘Oops…I Did It Again.’ After what seemed like years of anticipation watching Brit Brit all over TRL and other various media outlets promoting the album (and also perfecting my “Oops” video routine), the release day was finally here! So, much like everyone else, I rushed to Best Buy, as I did pretty much every Tuesday, and snatched up my copy of the album. Oh, how I was such a happy music bitch on that coveted release day nearly fifteen years ago. Well, my elusive music kids, those high press and high profile album release dates seem like a million years ago at this point, since the rise of music artists dropping secret albums has pretty much taken over all of our lives recently….and it’s not going anywhere. In fact, this trend is only getting bigger and bigger and bigger…..
On Friday, Drake surprised everyone with the unexpected release of a new seventeen-track project called, ‘If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late,’ becoming yet another big-named artist to drop a new set with little or no notice. Since Beyonce did it in Dec ’13 with her self-titled fifth album, this trend has certainly been on the rise with artists like J. Cole, D’Angelo and I guess we can include Madonna, all releasing new material with no warning. While some may think it’s an interesting and risky way to do things, there is no doubt that the pay off has been rich, as Drake’s record is looking to sell close to 500, 000 copies its first week out. If indeed his album does sell that much, expect this current trend of surprise superstar albums to continue on for pretty much all of music eternity.
Okay, so what I want to know is, who’s next? Since this new artistry movement has proved so successful ( ‘Beyonce’ has sold a staggering 5 million copies worldwide), I say, why not everyone do it and just do away with a release date? I mean, I have absolutely no idea on how I would handle myself if say Janet Jackson, Adele or Missy Elliot would just drop an album with no notice…a music heart attack is sure to ensue. These days, it’s no secret that record sales need a dose of music Viagra, so it certainly makes sense to keep on with this continuing trend. There have been some high profile music artists who have followed this upward music movement, so the possibility of Adele following suit doesn’t seem so far off, does it? While I do indeed miss the rush of cruising to places like Best Buy and Circuit City (R.I.P.) to pick up those albums on their release dates, the surprise album drop is not only making the fans of these artists happy, but the record label moguls as well. These days, not everyone wins in the music industry, but this new technique has proven to be a true winner for all involved, and trust me, it’s not going anywhere. With that being said, who do you think is next on the surprise album drop? Guess we’ll have to patiently wait to find out…Adele, we’re waiting.