Randall Roberts, writing for Los Angeles Times:
But most of us are half-assed when it comes to listening to albums. We put on artists’ work while we’re scrolling through Twitter, disinfecting doorknobs, obsessively washing our hands or romancing lovers permitted within our COVID-free zones. We rip our favorite tracks from their natural long-player habitat, drop them into playlists and forget the other songs, despite their being sequenced to be heard in order.
I previously mentioned listening to just one album in this manner. Three would definitely be a full on exercise.
Randall also mentions one of my favorite albums:
In 2006, the Staten Island rapper Ghostface Killah, best known as a founding member of Wu-Tang Clan, issued his fifth studio album. It’s about wine’s evil cousin, cocaine. Called “Fishscale,” the album is an hourlong, Tarantino-style action-adventure film, and one of three albums I programmed for a recent night with music.
After a cuss-heavy intro, “Fishscale” commences with “Shakey Dog,” a cinematic punch akin to a car chase opening an action movie. We’re with Starks on the way to a robbery. He’s in the backseat eating fish and dipping French fries into ketchup. He drops tartar sauce on his shoe, a portent that the advancing plot might not go as planned. By the end of the song, nearly a dozen people are dead and a bullet has grazed our hero’s ear.
I’ve always felt “Shakey Dog” should get the short film treatment, because that’s exactly what it is. Just that track alone. And there’s still a whole album ahead of it.
But, I feel like one of the only people on Earth who knows about the glory of Fishscale. I listened to this album back when I used to listen to albums more. I would pickup something new, listen to it track by track, and score every song from one through five stars. I distinctly remember Run the Jewels’ first album getting fives across the board. I miss doing this.