No lie, there’s no greater experience than listening to an album that flows perfectly all the way through. But when the songs transition so seamlessly you barely even notice the track change… Well, that’s just unparalleled bliss.
Admittedly, we now live in an age of instant gratification in which we’re conditioned to shuffle and skip between our favorite songs. But that’s not to say that masterful track changes are doomed to go unnoticed and underappreciated. In fact, they now stand out more than ever.
Here are 10 alternative songs that have seamless transitions between one another.
“Tiny Vessels” to “Transatlanticism” – Death Cab For Cutie
Death Cab For Cutie‘s Transatlanticism is widely regarded as an emo masterpiece for countless reasons. That said, their stylistic nuances are pretty high up there in the rankings. While each song flows beautifully into the next, it’s the transition between “Tiny Vessels” and the title track that really wows us. Though the tempo and melodies change between the songs, the band tie them seamlessly with ambient noise.
“Wastelands” to “Until It’s Gone” – Linkin Park
We’ve come to expect seamless transitions from Linkin Park, but they took it to a whole new level on their 2014 album, The Hunting Party. In fact, the link between “Wastelands” and “Until It’s Gone” might just be the coolest of their extensive discography. The former song fades into a rousing beat, which carries right through the intro of the next. It’s impossible not to get amped up during the brief intermission.
“Hey, Johnny Park!” to “My Poor Brain” – Foo Fighters
Honestly, just leave it to Foo Fighters to get so technically intricate. While the entirety of their 1997 album, The Colour And The Shape, is cohesive, most of the songs are noticeably distinct. The exception lies with “Hey, Johnny Park!” and “My Poor Brain,” which are tied together with the reverb at the end of the former track. If you’re not expecting the transition, the second song almost sounds like an additional verse.
“Prayer Of The Refugee” to “Drones” – Rise Against
Rise Against‘s The Sufferer & The Witness isn’t explicitly a concept album, but it does have some overarching lyrical themes. To this point, we weren’t particularly surprised to hear two tracks play as if they were part of a continuous narrative. The reverb at the end of “Prayer Of The Refugee” feeds seamlessly into “Drones,” underlaying the introductory beat.
“The Sunshine” to “The Grocery” – Manchester Orchestra
Manchester Orchestra certainly know how to build an alternative album that flows effortlessly from front to back. Seriously, we’d be hard-pressed to find a track in any of their albums that isn’t perfectly placed. So understand how significant it is when we say that A Black Mile To The Surface offers one of the best sequences in their catalog. While we’re particularly taken by the ambient transition between “The Sunshine” and “The Grocery,” it’s actually part of a three-part medley that starts with “The Alien.”
“Adam’s Song” to “All The Small Things” – blink-182
blink-182 seriously took us for a ride with all the seamless transitions throughout their Untitled album. Our favorite of theirs, however, occurs on Enema Of The State between “Adam’s Song” and “All The Small Things.” These songs boast such different energies that we’d never expect them to fade together so effortlessly—and quickly. The reverb at the end of the first track kicks up into a glistening air that feeds right into the riff at the top of the next.
“The End.” to “Dead!” – My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance are of course another alternative band that incorporate subtleties into everything that they do. So, you won’t be surprised to find a few of these seamless transitions sprinkled throughout their discography. The Black Parade kicks off with a notable one. If you watch carefully, you’ll realize that the anthemic outro of “The End.” actually feeds right into “Dead!” Not only that, but the beeping monitor that’s present throughout the first track flatlines during the intro of the second.
“But It’s Better If You Do” to “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” – Panic! At The Disco
Just leave it to Brendon Urie and Panic! At The Disco to write complex melodies that seamlessly intertwine. If you haven’t noticed already, one of the scene’s all-time favorite songs provides a notable example. When listening to A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out sequentially, you’ll hear that the ever-catchy intro of “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” actually begins at the end of “But It’s Better If You Do.” It fades in following the final verse, effortlessly transitioning into the next track as if it were just the next part of an extended song.
“I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me” to “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’” – Fall Out Boy
Knowing Fall Out Boy and their signature complexity, it’s actually somewhat surprising that their entire catalog doesn’t run together like one ultra-long song. That’s not to say that they don’t ever employ seamless transitions. From Under The Cork Tree actually houses one of our favorites (surprise, surprise…). It occurs between “I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me” and “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me.’” The first track ends with a brief amp squeal that carries effortlessly into the next.
“Holiday/Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” – Green Day
You didn’t think that we’d round out this list without including the kings of alternative song transitions, did you? Green Day‘s American Idiot is a showcase of blending tracks—so much so that it’s impossible to choose an objective favorite. No doubt, though, the “Holiday/Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” medley is nothing short of iconic. Despite being such vastly different songs, the progression truly makes them feel as if they’re just two parts of one.
What are some of your all-time favorite seamless song transitions in alternative albums? Let us know in the comments!