Many thanks to Aubin at Punknews.org for posting the following news item: the new Cursive album, Mama, I'm Swollen, is now available as a paid digital download, even though it won't come out on CD and vinyl until March 10th. At only two bucks today (the price goes up one dollar until March 10th), I couldn't really say no to this. The MP3s are at 320 kbps and the artwork comes with it. Again, I couldn't say no.
I'm not one to say this should be the new model for album distribution, but I must say, this is a great idea. In the past, Saddle Creek has embraced the digital world much better than other labels, and I'm happy they're doing this special. As somebody who has yet to purchase an entire album on iTunes or Amazon's MP3 store for various reasons, this deal is pretty much a steal. (And it's a great album.)
I have yet to get on board with Amazon's MP3 store due to the program one must download in order to download songs. It's not that I don't think that's a great thing -- I just haven't been that inclined to dowload anything from there. In the case of the iTunes Music Store, the whole DRM thing (that is apparently gone now) and the varying sound quality of their files have kept me away. Saddle Creek has just offered the album as is, no strings attached. I don't know if they're gonna lose their shirt by doing this, but this was an album I was going to buy anyway, and I don't really have much room for CDs on my CD shelf anymore.