As streaming and other digital formats have made the music industry more song-based after decades of being centered around albums, there has been much talk about the “death of the album” and the consequent loss of a complete artistic statement that comes with it.
Well, Adele has tackled that issue head-on by asking Spotify to remove the “shuffle” button from album pages in order to preserve the artist’s intention, saying the songs are placed in a certain order to “tell a story” — and the streaming services has obliged, at least partially.
Multiple media reports over the weekend pointed to a social media exchange between the singer and the service, and the “shuffle” button is indeed not present on at least several album pages randomly chosen by Variety.
However, at least on our player, the shuffle button remains on the icon that displays the song or album currently playing. With the button engaged, “30” jumped from track 3 to 5, and then 5 to 9. Presumably, listeners can shuffle away, to their hearts’ content.
At the time of this article’s publication, it remained unclear whether this was a technical issue; the way we’re displaying the album on our player; or simply an aberration stemming from our own technical ineptitude and/or personal aversion to the shuffle button. Reps for Spotify did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment or clarification.
Late Saturday, the singer thanked the streaming service for altering the page so that listeners wouldn’t be able to listen to the songs of her new album, “30,” in random order. The album, released on Friday, is well on its way to being the blockbuster release of the year; Variety called it her “best and riskiest album to date.”
She tweeted: “This was the only request I had in our ever changing industry! We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended. Thank you Spotify for listening.”
Spotify replied: “Anything for you.”
Variety will have more on this situation as it develops.
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