Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
A challenge to the iTunes store.

So my recent barometer for the success of Apple's iTunes Music Store has been the debut album by The Thorns, the new folk-rock supergroup made up of Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge and Shawn Mullins. It's a little Crosby, Stills & Nash, a little The Mamas and the Papas... Close harmonies, great guitars. Great stuff.

Anyway, it came out last week. This week, it showed up in the iTunes Store, but only as a partial album, which apparently means you can't buy the whole thing, only as 13 $.99 singles. The album itself is available at Amazon for $9.99. Added weirdness: when comparing the track listings on the iTunes store and at Amazon, they're the same. No missing tracks. So how is this a partial album? Is there a hidden track they didn't feel was appropriate to include? What's going on here?

That said, there's a lot of good music on the iTunes store that has me clutching my wallet and saying "No, no, no!" The new Joshua Redman album, Beyond, sounds super-smooth, as does the new album by Pat Metheny. There's some old Depeche Mode on there that I always meant to pick up, and some Jackson Browne that sounds really interesting. There's some Django Reinhardt and some Miles Davis... And there's some great stuff in there that I can testify is truly great, like the readings by Jack Kerouac and the new album by Pete Yorn. Fellow media addicts, guard your bank accounts with your lives.

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