By Meagan Holung:
Ritualistically, when a favorite artist or band releases a new mixtape or album, my roommates are the first to download it. After the download, they plug in whatever device (cell phone, mp3 player, laptop, etc.) they’ve brought the album to through Airdrop or iCloud.
The beginning of the process to marathon an album reminds me of the course of actions taken to marathon a television show.
When someone is seeking out a new television show or movie series on the Internet they will either stream it through an outlet such as Netflix or Hulu, or they will use some type of free download. The same goes for albums. My roommates will either buy the album from iTunes or search for a download somewhere on the web.
Now that they have the album, whichever device it is stored on will be plugged into the living room speakers. Here comes the part that is very similar to marathoning a show. Now that the audio is set up, it is time for them to raid the kitchen for snacks and a drink, plop down on the couch and immerse every piece of themselves song after song.
It is pretty self-explanatory how this act of marathoning music albums is quite similar to marathoning television shows, books, or a series of movies. There are even albums out there that are trilogies such as Green Day’s first of three albums, “Uno”.
I decided to take part in the album listening experience when artist Frank Ocean released his album, Channel Orange. I was not thinking about how the experience related to marathoning because I did not know that such a thing had even existed at the time, but now that I think back, Channel Orange evoked emotions that I know would not be possible without marathoning the album. The marathoning experience provides a fluidity that links each song to the next and allows the listener to understand the highs and lows the artist felt while the songs were being written.
I asked a friend why he think it is important to marathon a new album and he said, “listening to each song until the album is over and in the order that the artist placed them, can tell you a lot about an artist, their creativity and feelings about life most of the time. Being able to turn it up, transport, and enjoy the bliss is an amazing and relaxing feeling.”