Every year, between October and December, artists and bands release new music for listeners worldwide. This period, known to some as “album season,” often falls just in time for the holidays. What better gift is there than to receive new music?
Selena Gomez’s “Revival,” Adele’s “25,” Carrie Underwood’s “Storyteller,” 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Sounds Good Feels Good,” and DJ Khaled’s “I Changed a Lot” are all new albums for the 2015 season.
Something unusual is happening, though. On Friday, November 13, two highly anticipated albumers were released. This almost never happens, because artists tend to space out their release dates so as to avoid competition.
These new albums were from One Direction and Justin Bieber. Both artists have similar fan bases and write towards similar groups, as well: another factor that will play a big role in the competition.
For One Direction, the loss of band member Zayn Malik in March of 2015 made the band a quartet for the remainder of their On the Road Again tour. Their fifth album, titled “Made in the A. M.,” is meant to display their talents and show off the skills that they have even without Malik.
Justin Bieber, on the other hand, is releasing his fourth album, “Purpose,” in the wake of multiple scandals and run-ins with the law that have done significant harm to his image. His goal with the album is to come back and renew his status as one of the most popular singers of his generation.
The last time that two artists had the same album release date was in 2007. Eight years ago, Kanye West and 50 Cent both showcased their new music.The two spoke competitively about which album would perform best on iTunes and would be at the top of the charts, and 50 Cent made his confidence clear as he spoke boldly about what he assumed was his album’s potential.
He spoke too soon, though, and Kanye’s album proved to be superior. Kanye’s album beat 50 Cent’s by a whopping 250,000 units, and Kanye’s success ultimately hurt 50 Cent’s career to this day years later.
Is this a similar scenario? Will the domination of one album destroy the career of the other?
One Direction has said that they will be taking a break as of March 2016–coincidentally, the date that their contract with Syco Entertainment ends.
After the group placed third in the 2010 British X-Factor, Simon Cowell and his record label signed them, and that contract expires in just a few short months.
As for Justin, he is no longer the “Baby”-singing, shaggy-haired teen that he was once known for. Now a Calvin Klein model and a bit of a troublemaker, Bieber’s new music should reflect his attempts to correct his past mistakes. A rumored duet with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Selena Gomez has also captivated Twitter lately.
Both One Direction and Justin Bieber have released pre-album singles. Bieber released “What Do You Mean?”, “Sorry,” and “Where Are Ü Now,” while 1D released “Drag Me Down,” “Infinity,” “Home,” and “Perfect.” All seven songs topped the charts at their prime release date, and almost all have stayed in the top 10 on iTunes for well over a few months.
Meanwhile, Adele’s new album has everyone across the country alight with excitement. Her emotional new single “Hello” brought fans to tears due to her beautiful vocals on full display in the ballad. Her last album, entitled “21,” stayed at the top of the charts in February 2011 and is still at the top of fans’ lists years after its release date.
Fans across the globe are anxious to hear the new music from all artists, and are just as anxious to see what lies ahead in the possible greatest music rivalry to date between One Direction and Bieber. On Friday the 13th, iTunes will blow up with hits and purchases.
While there is an inside competition between the artists, Apple will be making an enormous profit regardless of who triumphs. This might be Apple’s smartest economic move yet, but the loser of the battle probably won’t think so.
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