Originally posted by generalissimo
I've been going through my dylan albums recently, and I have to say that despite finding them enjoyable, I have to say that its does get a litte boring after 5 or 6 minutes into desolation row or sad-eyed lady of the lowlands. Does anyone feel the same about long songs? (especially when the only variation throughout is the lyrics, while the music remains the same)
Songs should be as short or as long as they need to be, of course.
So how long do they need to be?
I don't think there's any one answer that covers all situations, but one constant seems to be that a song should carry the listener on some sort of cohesive emotional journey. Often times a songwriter will get caught up in trying to throw in too many lyrics/riffs/changes/sections/topics/moods/etc..., which instead of enhancing the emotional journey just ends up interrupting or deadening it. Editing is key. Of course most everyone's musical tastes are different, but the vast majority of listeners would rather enjoy the sensation of yearning for "more of the good stuff" than to deal with being beaten over the head with "too much of the bad stuff." My personal preference is usually for shorter songs, as I find great beauty in the deft application of craft in the construction of art. Of course, the deft application of craft can also be found in much longer works of art, and I enjoy those just as much if not more so - those works are just a little harder to find on a consistent basis.