Soundtracks – “Real” Albums or Expensive Mix Tapes?

I was home working last night and I realized that most of the music I had loaded up was actually on soundtrack discs (Because of Winn-Dixie, What Women Want and Austin Powers to be exact). I love soundtracks because it gives me a mix of music that wouldn’t be available in other formats (some of these producers have really random tastes, and that’s ok by me), but how does that compare with CDs that have been put together by artists with specific intent (Tim O’Brien’s Traveler and ELO’s Eldorado come to mind)? In an era increasingly influenced by the individual song download, are concept albums a thing of the past? And, if they are, does it matter? If Folk Alley throws a bunch of songs on a disc, are they of the same value as they were in their original line-up?

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