HiPipo Music Awards 2016; Album of the Year Review

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Mohamed Kimbugwe

Historically, the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century.

Later, collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums (one side of a 78 rpm record could hold only about 3.5 minutes of sound). When long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album; the word was extended to other recording media such as compact disc, Minidisc, Compact audio cassette, and digital albums.

The LP record (long play), or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. It was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album" back then.

Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums. The term "album" had been carried forward from the early nineteenth century when it had been used for collections of short pieces of music.

As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some commenters have declared that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. However, the album continues to live with a variety of refinements.

While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, the criteria for the conventional Albums Charts is that a recording counts as an "album" if it either has more than four tracks or lasts more than 25 minutes.

Sometimes shorter albums are referred to as "mini-albums" or EPs. Albums such as Tubular Bells, Amarok, Hergest Ridge by Mike Oldfield, and Yes's Close to the Edge, include fewer than four tracks. The length of an album, however, remains a flexible element in various parts of the world.

If an album becomes too long to fit onto a single vinyl record or CD, it may be released as a double album where two vinyl LPs or compact discs are packaged together in a single case, or a triple album containing three LPs or compact discs.

Recording artists who have an extensive back catalogue may re-release several CDs in one single box with a unified design, often containing one or more albums (in this scenario, these releases can sometimes be referred to as a "two (or three)-fer"), or a compilation of previously unreleased recordings.

These are known as box sets. Some musical artists have also released more than three compact discs or LP records of new recordings at once, in the form of boxed sets, although in that case the work is still usually considered to be an album.

In contemporary Ugandan music, the culture of crafting albums has been largely scanty, with artists focusing on hit singles. This could be explained by the fact that Ugandans hardly buy albums and such, musicians would rather focus on massive singles from time to time.

In cases where Ugandan musicians craft albums, they usually have over ten songs that are most times not released at once. This therefore means that some albums have songs released in various years and may get a nomination, even when the album title seems to have existed in previous years.

This category therefore, looks at musicians that have deliberately crafted albums. You will release that the albums in this category are a compilation of good music, explaining why it is important for artists to focus on albums if the Ugandan music industry is to have sustainable progress.

Let’s kick off with Bebe Cool’s Go Mama Album. This album is composed largely of songs that have a reggae ambiance and has fourteen songs in all. The songs on Go Mama album include Go Mama, Freedom, Love You Everyday, African Gal, Tofaayo, Mandela, Anything for Love, Tofa Ku Bigambo, Everywhere I Go, Make the World Dance, Old Skool, Sweet Banana (feat. Chizzo Lubega), Byebyo and Tokota.

Sounds of Naira Ali of Naira Ali is the other contender in here, whose songs include Tulo, Dancing tonite, Sweetest thing, Muntu Wange, Shy gal featuring Ziza Bafana, Nze nawe, Mwerere, Fighter, Ensi yange featuring Little Tammy, Breaking down, Nga ndi nawe ft Daniel Kaweesa and Okikola otya)

Let’s now look at the The Album by Naava Grey. This album contains Alib’omu, Sokalami, Mo’fire featuring Mun G, Kangume, Kyuse, Ndiwano, Ninga omuloge, Eminitiye, In the dark, Nkwetaga, Aliba waani, Nteredde, Omutima, I will wait featuring Roberto Zambia, Believe, Nteredde, Sensual Love, I do and Say to stay.

Mwooyo by Maurice Kirya is the other contender in this category and suits a phenomenon explained in the introduction. Much as the title sounds like one from the past, it has on it, songs that have been released this music year.

The songs on Mwooyo are Nkooye, Horses in the Sky, Busaabala, Ghost, Nkulinze, Never Been Loved, Everything We Do, Kankuwe, Too Good for Me, Mama We Made It, Sweet Lady, and Hold On.

Finally, we look at Lillian Mbabazi’s album entitled Lillian Mbabazi. The songs on this album include Dreaming featuring Atlas, Olyose nojja, Onterezza featuring Toniks, Memories featuringt A Pass, Akalimi k’esawa featuring Joshua, Jangu, I’m in Love featuring Radio and Weasel, Tubikyuse, Smile, Ketalo, Simple Gal, Africa Jump, Wait a minute and Kuuma Obudde.

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