As streaming and other digital formats have made the music industry more song-based after decades of being centered around albums, there has been much talk about the “death of the album” and the consequent loss of a complete artistic statement that comes with it.
Well, Adele has tackled that issue head-on by asking Spotify to remove the “shuffle” button from album pages in order to preserve the artist’s intention, saying the songs are placed in a certain order to “tell a story” — and the streaming services has obliged, at least partially.
The shuffle option is no longer a default on the platform, according to a Spotify rep, although it remains an option, and listeners clicking the shuffle button on their players can shuffle away to their hearts’ content.
A Spotify rep said Sunday: “As Adele mentioned, we are excited to share that we have begun rolling out a new Premium feature that has been long requested by both users and artists to make ‘play’ the default button on all albums. For those users still wishing to shuffle an album, they can go to the Now Playing View and select the ‘shuffle’ toggle. As always, we will continue to iterate our products and features to create the best experiences for both artists and their fans.”
Late Saturday, the singer thanked the streaming service for altering the page so that listeners would have to intentionally listen to the songs of her new album, “30,” in random order. The album, released on Friday, is well on its way to being the blockbuster release of the year; Variety called it her “best and riskiest album to date.”
She tweeted: “This was the only request I had in our ever changing industry! We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended. Thank you Spotify for listening.”
Spotify replied: “Anything for you.”Variety will have more on this situation as it develops.