The Internet age just got a little weirder. One of Denver's most prolific musicians, Tommy Metz (AKA Iuengliss), decided his 2010 album,Blossom Frontier
, wasn't up to snuff, so he pulled it, remixed it, re-mastered it and redid the artwork. He even renamed itFrontier
, which we're pretty sure is unprecedented in the history of music. It's like he wiped it all away and reseeded it to humanity as if nothing had happened.
"I just felt compelled to fix some things," Metz explains, "because I kind of rushed it last year and wasn't 100 percent happy with it."
When we first heard about this, we immediately thought back to the minor Kindle scandal in 2009 when Amazon pulled copies of 1984 and Animal Farm off of people's Kindle's due to a license violation. Not that Metz was climbing into your iTunes library and deleting Blossom Frontier, but he did remove it from the iTunes store, and the idea that digital music holds a different kind of value has been a debate amongst people since the first MP3 was distributed across the tubes.
Alternately, Frontier might have more in common with something like a deluxe reissue of a record, where an artist might send the original mixes back to the boards to get a fresh update, then get packaged together with live material and B-sides.
The practice of the deluxe edition seems to have died off a bit in the digital era (although, we've seen two big ones this last year from TV on the Radio and The Arcade Fire), but the idea an artist can look back at an older album with a little humility and update it accordingly certainly isn't a new talking point.
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Either way, it's a bit strange to think about when talking about music distribution in the long term, and it might be dangerous for artists and fans alike. No album is perfect, and if an artist is continually working and reworking on everything they release, it might spell creative disaster for future efforts. From a listeners perspective, you might end up getting confused by which version you have and what tracks are there -- like a rehash of the crazy vinyl days where certain records from certain labels had different track lists.
With Metz and Frontier, none of this actually matters too much, as the album was free when it was originally released and continues to be free afterwards. As far as he's concerned, it's still not over, "I might actually work on the album again in the future. Who says an album can't be re-opened?"
You can download the new version from Tommy's website or listen to it below.