Albums like Kanye’s The Life Of Pablo and The 1975’s I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It suggest our stars need some direction with the names of their records. Luckily, help is on hand…
DO GO YOUR OWN WAY
Naming your new record is a tricky business, like trying to throw a dart at the bullseye of posterity while blindfolded. Kanye West recently seemed to have outsourced the task, getting his wife to gauge interest in possible album titles with an internet-breaking Twitter poll. In the end, Kanye went his own way and opted for, er, The Life Of Pablo over the actually-quite-good Swish. Perhaps he remembered the cautionary tale of ska washouts Smash Mouth, who asked fans to pick the name of their third album. They chose Smash Mouth. Speaking of which…
DON’T GO EPONYMOUS, (UNLESS IT’S YOUR DEBUT)
There’s a fine tradition of keeping things simple, especially for your debut. It’s been road-tested by the Smiths, the Stone Roses, Black Sabbath, Queen and Vampire Weekend. Nevertheless, there is such a thing as the right time: releasing an eponymous album mid-career might seem like a bold, back-to-basics statement, but to everyone else, it just looks as if you’ve run out of ideas.
DON’T GO LONG
Grebo-poppers the 1975 should be poised to break America, and yet they’ve lumbered their new and second album with an awful, long-winded title: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It. Save that sort of wishy-washy word-porridge for when you have a third verse to write! Have we learned nothing from Fiona Apple’s pre-millennium second album, which had a rambling 90-word name and was purchased by roughly the same amount of people?
DO STICK TO ACTUAL WORDS
We get it. You’re creative, and it’s a living language. But inventing new words is redonkulous, be it Grandaddy’s autocorrect nightmare The Sophtware Slump or Primal Scream’s forthcoming Chaosmosis, which sounds more like a mindfulness app than an album. The Mars Volta – prolific coiners of nonsense such as Noctourniquet and Comatorium – get a pass, because prog, obvs.
DON’T BE BASIC
A reminder that in 2016, basic counts as an insult. So while you might think it’s hilarious to call your record something knowingly reductive – like Madonna’s Music or Joan Jett’s third album Album – it immediately sets off the apathy alarm. The worst recent offender? Bass booster Meghan Trainor whose 2015 album was called, er, Title.
DON’T RESORT TO PUNS, EVER
Why would you sabotage your pride and joy by playing with puns? Blink 182’s Enema Of The State, Ministry’s The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste, Ugly Kid Joe’s Menace To Sobriety… all dreadful. Weirdly, one of the few people to pull it off was Kanye with Yeezus, a suitably religious experience. Beyoncé, the ball is in your court.
Via the Guardian