This Saturday is National Album Day. I imagine that like National Poetry Day, where you're supposed to read or recite a few poems and feel pleased with yourself about it, National Album Day will involve listening to a selection of albums all the way through and, subsequently, feeling pleased with yourself having done it.
Having listened to your selection of albums, you'll probably feel nourished because you haven't skipped idly through an online playlist of singles, you've had the determination and commitment to sit through a proper album. You may even gain bonus points if you physically turn the album over mid way through. Well done. It's as if you're no longer tempted by short stories and books with pictures in them, you can now read proper novels. In fact, you're tastes may become so sophisticated that you will be able to argue the toss about the Mercury Music Prize or even understand articles in The Quietus.
Look, I understand that some fear that downloading, streaming and shuffling playlists, and gawping at YouTube is somehow killing off the cherished format of the album. But, was it ever thus? Those who prefer the brief flirtation with singles over the lasting relationship with an album will continue to get their fix. And vice versa, so album enthusiasts, stop fretting, the album is not an endangered species. It's just a format - and as long as musical artists choose to release the dozen or so new songs that they're eager to share with their audience the album will continue to exist. It doesn't need a National Day.