Must it exist physically as polycarbonate, vinyl, tape, drive, or cloud storage? Must it spin?
Must it be made in a studio? (What is the definition of a studio?)
Must it include a producer? An engineer?
Must it be multi-tracked? Click-tracked?
Must it contain real instruments? (What is the definition of a real instrument?)
Must it have a human element? (Is there a line between what is human and what is hardware and software?)
Must it play for a minimum duration?
Must it have an audience?
Must it be owned?
Must it be purchased?
Must it be streamed?
Must it be promotional?
Must it tell a story?
There are very few “musts” for an album anymore. That notion can be both scary and liberating.
All I know is this. An album (or record) is one medium on which music can be captured and communicated. Like any piece of art, it is created using tools of the artist’s choosing to make a statement.