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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Music re-releases: are they any good?

How do re-releases affect musicians and how they interact with their art
Music re-releases: are they any good?

As the years pass, artists are always releasing music — however, these new songs are not new and are instead variations of the artists music from the past. Doing this can be used to show a song in a different light, used to boost other artists and used to show growth. There are many reasons why one would release a variation.

These variations come in many different types. Some examples of this include genre changes, where the entire vibe of a song is changed. There are many strengths to this because it allows an artist to experiment and check out what a song might be in a different context. Another variation is when an artist remakes an older song of theirs. When an artist does this, it can show their growth over time and how they have changed as time has gone on. For the final type, the song is remade, but not exactly by the original artist. When an artist takes a listen to a remix made by another person, they do have the opportunity to make it official. This doesn’t happen, except in the world of DJ, where it happens more than one would expect.

Genre shifts are very useful to musicians as a whole. They allow an artist to step out of their comfort zone using something they made previously as a buffer. They allow them to experiment while still in familiar territory. There have been multiple successful attempts at doing this, but the big example that changes eminently between genres is from the artist Seven Lions in their EP (Extended Play) “The Blood.” The original song leans heavily into the EDM side, with there being explosive pops all around and ambient, foley-like sounds which fill the space. However, one of the variations, “The Blood (in E Minor),” transforms it into a string quartet piece featuring castanets. Even though the melody is the same, the vibe is completely different and shows another perspective of what a song or piece can sound like when re-imagined.

Artists should also have the chance to obtain some perspective on their growth by remaking and re-releasing their music. It can be a nostalgia trip for listeners who heard the original pieces while showing how the artist has bloomed over the years. Sometimes it doesn’t always go over the best as people might become attached to a specific sound, but when it is done properly, listeners are satisfied. The artist Savant took their chance to remake their album “Alchemist” for its 10-year anniversary and their improvement was obvious from the very beginning. From listening to the sound of each of the versions, the newer one is more sophisticated and smooth compared to the version made 10 years prior.

These variations are also very important for the DJ scene. Even though in many ways the DJ scene has died from where it was, having other artists remix one’s work and then having the original person release it officially is still done to this day. However, the king of featuring other artists is Zardonic. He is known to officially release remixes other people made that he plays in his sets to boost the other artist’s name and offer a fresh perspective on the song. For example, Vigilante’s remix of Zardonic’s song “Black and White” gives the original song a stronger beat, transforming the originally industrial-metal song into a grunge-dub-step.

Just because re-releasing music is successful in many ways, sometimes it is done poorly and can leave a listener disappointed. The big thing that can cause this is when nothing has changed between the original and the variation. However, another thing that can really harm a remaster is when the track is compressed like crazy compared to the original. This unfortunately happens a ton when artists sign up to a label and the label is in charge of creating the remaster. This is what happened to Queen and Led Zeppelin in the 80s. To pull one example, any song from the album “Rage Against the Machine” by the artist “Rage Against the Machine.” The remasters, which are the only available version on Spotify and most listening platforms, have lost the emotion and variance of the original album due to saturation in the newer version.

I am of the opinion that releasing variations of songs is fantastic; however, aspects of the music need to change from the original. If nothing changes in the song and it is completely the same, why shouldn’t one just listen to the original while ignoring the more recent release?

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About the Contributor
Serena Bovee, Copy Editor
Greetings all, my name is Serena and this will be my third year working on this publication. I am one of the condemned copy editors working on the Echo this year. In my free time, I partake in listening to some of my revered music. From the works of the late Dimitri Shostakovich all the way to the new and looming artist Chris Christodoulou. When I’m not doing that I am probably sifting through the petrichor while promenading through Saint Louis Park.

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