I sympathize with fans, friends, and family of Whitney Houston. It is always doubly sad when someone who creates art or makes music dies. Because each individual is unique, what they have done or could have done cannot be replicated by anyone in exactly the same way. It is lost to us forever.
I am over protective of artists I like.
When I find a song that touches me, I look for the singer and really dig my nails into them. I immerse myself in their work, exploring every song they’ve ever made, starting at the inception, tracking their growth, and try to find the limits of my love for them,
All this comes with a dark side.
When I completely love a band, liking every album they have ever made with no exceptions, I am also secretly hoping that they break up, retire, or die.
I know I should feel guilty about this, but I don’t. I want them to make a lot of money and I’m not specifying that they have to die, I will settle for breaking up or retiring.
The way I see it, if a group has made the best music ever, and you’re sitting on your bed in the dark holding an autographed copy of their last album, crying as you listen to the hidden track at the end like it is a personal message to you, the worst thing that artist can do is come out with a new album.
The chances that the new album will be better than the previous one is small enough, that I don’t think it is worth releasing. They should just say, “we love our fans so much, we’ll leave on that high note.”
Two of the Beatles are still actively singing and touring, but imagine if the entire group was still around, and they had made new music all through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Even at the low rate of three albums a decade, that’s an additional 200 songs we don’t need.
Ask any Michael Jackson fan for their favourite song, no one would name something from his last album. They won’t say, “I thought he was just warming up in Thriller, but he really hit his peak in that duet with Bieber.”
I’ve never even heard anyone say one of his later songs like ‘Blood on the Dance Floor’ is their favourite MJ song.
This is not to suggest that creative people should quit their callings and die or settle into a life of mediocrity. I know every new piece tells a different story, I just want to know I have everything before I commit to an artist.
Adele’s next album might win six Grammys, but she probably won’t.
So if you’re not sold on Adele now, her next album isn’t going to be the one that gets you. The only way she could make you happy would be if she releases something drastically different that alienates her current fans.
To get new followers, she must stab the existing ones in the back, and as a psychotic fan who likes her now, that should terrify you.
There is no winning, the only way from here is down.