In a society so accustomed to instant gratification it’s hard to really anticipate anything be it a movie, TV series, or the latest incarnation of the McRib. In the music industry it’s become harder to build a real sense of anticipation for an artist’s release. A song will be rolled out and it’s good but thin: good enough to create buzz and whet the appetite but too thin to offer any real gratification. Who can blame fans for seeking an advance copy of an album to download illegally? They’re still hungry.
Listening to Ron Sexsmith’s new single Love Shines it struck me that I was actually enjoying the wait for his new album. Not a lot of singles are released four months before an album drops, and service a new single during the major-release-clogged fourth quarter of the year? Madness. But when a song is so exquisitely crafted, so infused with longing yet optimistic; when a song comes from arguably one of Canada’s finest songwriters of all time; you can afford to make a gutsy move.
We (I) know the album Long Player Late Bloomer will be worth the wait. Maybe that’s the difference between Lady Gaga and Ron Sexsmith (okay, one of a gazillion): we know it will be worth the wait and we trust the songwriter so we give him respect; we respect him enough to release his album when he’s ready, according to his (label’s) plan. We know that what he delivers will be exceptional so we (I) savour the waiting. Lady Gaga not so much.
It seems to me–and this is just seeming, I have no basis for this, none at all–that some classes of artist are more immune to illegal downloading than others. Is it respect that makes seeking a pirated version of some albums inconceivable to me? As much as I drool at the prospect of owning Long Player Late Bloomer, I wouldn’t dream of looking for an illegal copy to download. Is this common among certain types of music fans? Does the rest of Sexsmith’s fan base share that with me? I think they might.
So today I’ll continue to enjoy Love Shines whenever it comes on CBC Radio 2. I’ll listen online when I have a craving. I’ll look forward to another single before the March 1st release. I will continue to savour the anticipation.
Listen to Love Shines online at www.ronsexsmith.com