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The Oriole

The student newspaper of Augusta High School

The Oriole

The student newspaper of Augusta High School

The Oriole

Concept albums allow music to spread larger messages

The+album+cover+for+Bug+Hunter%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9CThe+Rough+Draft%E2%80%9D.+The+album+is+filled+with+messages+and+situations+that+are+filled+with+relatability.+Graphic+by+Cody+%E2%80%98Bug%E2%80%99+Hunter%0A%0A
The album cover for Bug Hunter’s “The Rough Draft”. The album is filled with messages and situations that are filled with relatability. Graphic by Cody ‘Bug’ Hunter

Concept albums are a way musicians can spread messages, often positive, while making songs include a story of sorts. This makes them more like a book or a movie than just music made purely for entertainment. Musicologists credited “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” as the first concept album, released in 1967 In the album, each member of the Beatles would take on an alter ego, each one in the band. Artists often create these albums. Rapper Tyler The Creator’s ‘IGOR’ is a popular example of a concept album, and my favorite is Bug Hunter’s ‘The Rough Draft’. 

“The Rough Draft”, is an example of what concept albums can do. Bug Hunter filled this album with messages for his audience about listening to their mothers, putting in effort, viewing themselves better even when constantly comparing yourself to those around you, and witnessing a story of a heartbreak. These messages are powerful and are an example of what concept albums can be. Listening to this album has helped me be more open to viewing myself as better than I feel, but also that the answers to life aren’t so simple.

The themes behind the message and story of concept albums can differ greatly but are often used as means of encouragement. Artists put the main characters of these songs in difficult, but often relatable, situations, allowing the listeners to place themselves in the character’s shoes. These situations make the music easier to follow and more appealing. 

Some listeners can argue that concept albums are a waste of time to create and listen to. The extra meaning behind the songs can be distracting or take the joy out of listening to music. People that have this opinion are wrong.

Concept albums are a way to grab the attention of consumers and genuinely make an impact with music instead of making it for fun or to make the artist more money

Another one of my favorite concept albums is Green Day’s well-known “American Idiot”. It follows the main character of Jesus of Suburbia, an adolescent American anti-hero living in America who is distraught by events such as 9/11 and the Iraq war. The album also highlights the way news media slowly became more of a form of entertainment rather than actual news. 

These albums are enjoyable, and if the day comes where concept albums will no longer be around, I will be quite upset. It allows music to be portrayed in a way that could be considered uncommon. I look forward to seeing more concept albums from artists familiar, as well as unfamiliar, and for me to continue to grow my love for these story-telling musical masterpieces. 

 

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About the Contributor
Hayden Blair, Crew-Editor
Senior Hayden Blair is a Crew-Editor on The Oriole newspaper. He has been a member of staff for three years. His first year, he was a reporter. The following year, he became a Crew-Editor. He is also the producer of the Brick A Productions. He joined with the hope to spread necessary news to the community. Outside of journalism, he likes to act and participate in the school’s drama productions. When he is not at school, he can be found at work, home or out with friends. His current favorite music artist is MF DOOM. 
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