The 18 Ways of Beginning and Ending an Album

7. The Warning Shot

The Warning Shot is an intro song that is stylistically divergent from the artist’s usual fare and is usually indicative of the rest of the album. In short, it signals to the listener that they are in for something new and different. This is relatively common, given that most musicians evolve throughout their respective careers, changing their sounds up at least once. Sometimes, Warning Shots aren’t that jarring: Frank Sinatra’s classic meditation on loneliness, In the Wee Small Hours, which begins with its title cut, is vastly different from much of his early work, but it’s something his fans can easily acclimate to. Yet, sometimes Warning Shots are purposefully startling, like how on Pulp’s “The Fear”, Jarvis Cocker cautions the listener that they’re in for a darker, heavier sound on This Is Hardcore and that “you’re gonna like it but not a lot”.

I enjoyed discovering this feature, “All Things Reconsidered”. via PopMatters.

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