Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why I'm Not Reviewing Ida Maria's New Album

I loved Ida Maria's debut album, Fortress 'Round My Heart. It's one of my favorite albums of the last five years, so I jumped at the chance to review Katla, her recent follow-up. But my primary outlet for album reviews these days is CD Hotlist, an online publication aimed at people who buy music recordings for libraries. And that's the hitch. Katla is part of a growing trend of albums that are only available as digital downloads, not in physical form. To make a long story short, because of standard end-user license agreements, libraries can't buy digital downloads for their borrowers to use. My colleague D. J. Hoek has written about this issue in greater detail. So there is no point in CD Hotlist running a review of an album that libraries can't buy.
I'm hoping the situation will change. In the short run, I hope Ida Maria's label will view Katla as enough of a priority to issue it on CD. In the long run, I hope the copyright laws will change or vendors will change their restrictions so that libraries can collect, preserve and allow access to digital-only recordings. I've got a review of the album ready to go. The short version is that it's awesome.

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