Dua Lipa And Billie Eilish Bring Back Shorter Albums

In recent times, there’s been a noticeable shift towards shorter albums in the music industry. The resurgence of vinyl LPs, a format that naturally limits the number of songs per side, has played a role in this evolution. Last year saw a significant increase in LP sales, indicating a growing appreciation for more concise musical statements.

Joe Kentish, the Warner Brothers U.K. head and A&R executive for Dua Lipa, sheds light on this trend. He explains that he and Lipa have always aimed for albums that deliver a tight and impactful message. From her debut with 12 songs to her latest work, ‘Radical Optimism,’ Lipa focused on including only tracks that contributed to creating a cohesive and compelling record.

Also Read: Billie Eilish Breaks Met Gala Tradition: What Rule Did the Singer Defy?

Short Albums
Image Courtesy: iheart

A senior major-label A&R executive adds another perspective, pointing out that today’s listeners have a different approach to album consumption. Unlike the past, where listeners would immerse themselves in entire albums like Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon,’ today’s music consumption is more fragmented. Streaming services offer a vast menu of choices, making shorter albums more appealing as they fit better into listeners’ dynamic and varied playlists.

Kentish also notes the role of streaming behaviour in shaping album length. With listeners often shuffling between artists and albums on streaming platforms, the challenge is to retain their attention. Shorter albums are better suited to this environment, ensuring that artists can maintain engagement throughout their records.

Short Albums
Image Courtesy: Stereogum

While the traditional LP format historically imposed limitations on album length, the arrival of CDs in the Eighties changed the game. CDs allowed for longer running times, leading to albums with more tracks. This trend was further fueled by the potential for increased streaming revenue, incentivizing artists to include more songs.

In this context, the shift towards shorter albums represents a balancing act between artistic cohesion, listener engagement, and the dynamics of modern music consumption. Artists like Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish are at the forefront of this movement, crafting albums that deliver impactful experiences within a more condensed format.

-Sushmita Sarkar