I’m also getting into the new Erykah Badu album released on Tuesday. It’s not just the music that’s impressing me here, but the impressive release plan. The CD and digital download of “New Amerykah” is the first stage, with a USB drive release following later that includes video extras and such. It also lets the buyer access the next reound of tracks, due in July. That release also coincides with the second disc and a magazine called “Freq.”
The USB drive strikes me as kind of a novelty idea – it seems to occupy the same space as Blu-ray does right now as a different but ultimately obsolete step towards direct digital distribution by network. The magazine will have to stand on its own, although pairing it with a release from a multi-platinum artist isn’t a bad way to start a publication run. The physical issue of the magazine, again, may soon be an unnecessary step between the creator and the reader (judging by the amount of digital subscription requests I’m receiving from the folks I already send my magazine dollars to), but that has to play itself out, too. Is it bad form to read your laptop in the dental office?
Finally, it just surprises me that somebody convinced a major label (Universal/Motown, in this case) to release two full LPs so close together, especially considering the artist hasn’t released a full album in around 5 years or so. Is it a consideration to the whims of the artist or a desperate move to get anything out there and see if it sells?