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Idiosyncratic Album Theming

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"We are contractually bound to put 21 tracks on all our CDs. It's part of our pact with the Devil."
Joseph Vargo, Nox Arcana

The musical equivalent of Idiosyncratic Episode Naming, this is when a band has one common element in every single one or almost every single one of their albums. This can come in many flavors, but the most common are the number of tracks on the album, having a Hidden Track, or having Idiosyncratic Cover Art.


Other variants can include all of the records having at least one Album Title Drop, or one song about a specific subject.

In some cases, a band coming out with a album that differs from the band's former pattern can cause fans to cry They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.


  • As the above quote attests, all of Nox Arcana's albums have exactly 21 tracks. We do hope he's joking, though. In addition, all of the albums have at least one Hidden Track. (Sometimes two. Sometimes three.)
  • All of Midnight Syndicate's albums end with a Hidden Track consisting of sound effects and voices.
  • Each Buzz-Works album has 19 tracks.
  • Every CD by Nightwish has an Album Title Drop.
  • There is a song about wolves on every album by Sonata Arctica. This has led to them earning the nickname "Wolf Metal band".
  • Every "Weird Al" Yankovic album has one polka medley (except three: his first, his fifth, and one which has a polka cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" instead) and (generally) one song about food and TV.
    • Also each of his regular albums follows a pattern of alternating parody songs with original songs
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  • Angelspit really like talking about cannibalism - this is evident in the fact that they have at least one song that at least mentions or is about cannibalism on every one of their CDs.
  • Every Epica studio album has an intro between 90 seconds and two minutes long, and starting with The Divine Conspiracy, there is also a similar interlude about halfway through. Each album also ends with an unusually long composition, which is also the title track on every album except for Requiem for the Indifferent.
  • Every album by Children of Bodom has their mascot, the reaper, on its cover.
  • Morten Veland of Sirenia must love the number seven - all of the band's albums have at least one song with 7 in the title. At Sixes And Sevens has the title track, An Elixir For Existence has Seven Sirens And A Silver Tear, Nine Destinies And A Downfall has Seven Keys And Nine Doors, and The 13th Floor gives us both Winterborn 77 and Sirens Of The Seven Seas.
  • Up until 2006, the Barenaked Ladies recorded one song on each album naked.
    • Following the success of "One Week" on Stunt, every album since has featured a song that has very much aped its style.
  • Five Iron Frenzy: On their first four albums, the sixth track would be a joke: either less than ten seconds long, improvised-in-the-studio nonsense, or both. However, they broke with that tradition for their last four albums.
  • Starflyer 59: The credits of every single release feature the single-sentence dedication, "All praise and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ", in lieu of a "The band would like to thank..." section. Ever since Leave Here a Stranger, band members are only referred to by their last name and first initial: J. Martin, J. Cloud, F. Lenz, etc.
  • Every Demon Hunter album cover features their logo—a stylized, bisected demon head—rendered in a different style or medium.
  • Every Lordi album has one or more songs about Heavy Meta.
  • Every album by The White Stripes contains a song with the word "Little" in the title.
    • And their album art is always some combination of red, white, and black (and sometimes gray).
  • X-Ray Dog. Let's look at album names: "Bonz Unleashed", "Prime Cuts", "Sit Up And Listen", "Fresh Meat", "New Tricks", "Mad Dog", "A Breed Apart", "Doggie Style", "Dog Party", "Canis Rex", "Dog Eat Dog", "Hellhounds", "Bites Bark Growls", "Dog Gone Wild", "Best in Show", "Mighty Dog", "K-9 Empire", "Cerberus", "Boneyard", "Alpha Dog", "Dog Rock", "Dogs of War". It looks like they doggedly pursue one theme.
  • America once gave seven consecutive albums titles beginning with the letter H. Later in their careers, they did four more in a row like that.
  • Almost all releases by The Jesus Lizard have four-letter titles such as Goat or Liar - the exceptions are a self-titled EP and a few singles named after their A-sides. They also carried this on to the compilation Bang and the live album Show (maybe calling it Live would have been too obvious).
    • Even their one single (technically a split with Nirvana) was named "Puss."
  • Every Dream Theater album cover includes the Majesty logo in some shape or form.
  • Deep Purple has six albums in a row (from their second, The Book of Taliesyn, to their seventh, Who Do We Think We Are) that feature seven tracks each.
  • Mastodon's first four albums each had an elemental theme: Remission is fire, Leviathan is water, Blood Mountain is earth, and Crack the Skye is aether.
  • Every Basement Jaxx album up until Scars contained several interludes with the suffix "-alude" appended to the title.
  • With only three exceptions (Kill 'em All, St. Anger, and Self-Destruct) every Metallica album has a ballad as the fourth track. Even the Cover Album. Also, every album that has a Title Track has that as the second song (except Hardwired, where the song "Hardwired" is the first song).
  • Similarly, Steve Vai always places a ballad as track number seven, and Word of God says it's intentional.
  • Foetus titles every album with a single four-letter word.
  • Brad Paisley's first three albums had covers of gospel songs as the final track. The second through fifth also had interstitial skits featuring country music singers and/or actors.
  • Every Britney Spears album except for her debut and third ends on a ballad or a slightly softer lighter beat than the rest of the album. (Dear Diary, Everytime, Why Should I Be Sad, My Baby, Criminal)
  • Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday, the first of which was entitled Pink Friday, and the following ones adding on various different subtitles.
  • Every Delta Goodrem album ends on a thank you song (Angels In The Room, You Are My Rock) and a softer note (Will You Fall For Me, Angels In The Room, You Are My Rock). She is also not fond of smiling on her Album Covers. She always opens her albums on a positive note, both single wise and tracklist wise.
  • All of Black Majesty's albums have cover art featuring a mysterious cloaked and masked figure, though the first album Sands of Time featured a slightly different design of the character. Starting from Silent Company, the character is always accompanied by a lion.
  • Brazilian band Skank released four albums in a row with 11 tracks (they denied being a soccer reference, only saying they at the time felt "10 was too short and 12 too long"). Also, all but one of their albums has a One-Word Title.
  • The title tracks of Enya's albums were all instrumentals until her sixth, Amarantine, broke the chain.
  • The first three albums by The Divine Comedy have closing songs that refer to death.
  • On each of Tyler, the Creator's albums before Cherry Bomb, the names of the last and first track make a phrase: "Inglorious Bastard", "Golden Goblin", "Lone Wolf".
  • All of Jamey Johnson's albums except for his debut album The Dollar have the word "Song" in the title (That Lonesome Song, The Guitar Song, Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran, and The Christmas Song).
  • The front cover of every Pure Prairie League album features a painting of "Sad Luke", a cowboy character first created by Norman Rockwell for a 1927 Saturday Evening Post cover.
  • The Ocean has titled almost every album as an adjective with Latin roots. Fluxion misses the mark as an early on album but still has a cool name.
  • Chicago has numbered many of their albums. According to Wikipedia, the band has 36 canon albums and many of them are numbered. The exceptions are albums 1, 2, 4, 12, 15, 20, 22-24, 27-29, and 31.
  • Megadeth's first three albums all had eight tracks and a Cover Version. Their New Sound Album Rust in Peace abandoned both of these trends.
  • Our Lady Peace's first four albums feature an artist's model named Saul Fox on the cover. He also made cameo appearances in some of their music videos.
  • CHVRCHES's first two full-length albums include an Album Title Drop.
  • Garth Brooks always puts his favorite song off each album at the very end. This is why, when his first six albums were reissued as a box set in 1998, the bonus tracks were slotted in the middle instead of the end.
  • This happened twice with Peter Gabriel. His first four albums were all self-titled, leading fans to give them nicknames derived from the album covers. The following three albums he put out were then given two-letters-long titles (So, Us and Up respectively).
  • Each of The Happy Fits’s albums has a different fruit on the cover.
  • Several BTS albums are released as part of a series or trilogy (the School Trilogy, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, LOVE YOURSELF), with all forming part of an overall Coming of Age narrative.
    • All of the Korean albums also have an Intro sung or rapped by a single member (except for Skool Luv Affair, which essentially has all three rappers rap, but with RM getting the "main" role) and an Outro performed either by the vocal line or the rapper line, not both. This is later averted in their 9th album BE, which neither has an Intro or an Outro; nor is part of any series.
  • Taylor Swift is well-known for having a tradition of making the fifth song on every album an emotional ballad of some kind, which her fans call a "track five". Many articles have been written about this habit of hers, which began unintentionally.
  • Lights makes synthpop and electronic music but also re-records all of the songs with acoustic guitar and releases these alternate takes in between albums. Some of her fans like her acoustic work as much or even more than the originals.


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