Ah, nothing like when the label tells you to go back and write some more accessible material after you turn in your sophomore experimental record. The Klaxons, whose debut I find to be one of the better combinations of avant-pop of recent years, are getting eaten up by the blogs today by submitting to their dark label overlords who sent them back to the studio to clean up some of the material. As a producer, I am shocked by 2 things:
- Why on earth did they leak this information? I have been involved with quite a few releases where this has happened and usually we chalk it up to “recording more songs to choose from the best material” or “we just wrote some awesome new songs we need to add to the record” (read: the record company didn’t hear a single in what we recorded the first time). Bad PR!
- The blogs always jump in and defend artist integrity and mention the instances of Marvin Gaye and Wilco, where the labels were wrong. The fact is there are MANY more cases where the objective ear of a producer and occasionally an A&R man/manager who actually has a good ear and saves a good record (see: the lie that the original version of Green Day’s American Idiot was stolen). These occurrences are often kept behind closed doors or are even nipped in the bud in pre-production during a well-managed record. An objective perspective for nearly any band (and producer/record label) is needed for everyone in the creative process. It is very easy to lose your bearings and checks and balances when immersed in a years-long creative process. The problem is many people are given the title of being the “objective perspective” when their perspective isn’t worthwhile, pertinent, or educated towards the subject at hand. Personally, I think Clive Davis was quite right about Kelly Clarkson’s sophomore record – just look at the new one for proof. Now that she is back in Dr. Luke and Max’s arms (just like Clive suggested), people can bare to listen to her again.