Monday, December 13, 2010

Finding something to do

Today we are talking music. Mostly around the idea of how much of it is subjective. It’s one of those things that is intrinsically tied to where you are at personally in your life, how you feel, what you want, all that stuff. That’s why emo appeals to teenagers, cause that’s what being a teenager is. I don’t think you ever stop loving an album you loved way back when. You’re not going to turn around one day and hate it. Surely? But you are bound to shift and change, and so too will your musical tastes and you may no longer care much for that band.

So we come to My Chemical Romance. I don’t think I’ve ever been so underwhelmed with an album before. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is, to put it simply, lacklustre. It has no heart. It has no passion. It has no anger. And as Abbi rightly points out, when a band like MCR isn't angry anymore, what’s the point? It's all hollow, empty play-acting and it’s boring. I rate it a resounding MEH.

It’s just so disappointing considering how much I adored The Black Parade. I wasn’t expecting more of the same, but something with the same edge at least. All three previous albums had that edge after all, now it’s just…gone. Maybe 18 year old me wouldn’t be so down on this record, but 23 year old me doesn’t care for it at all. All I ask from my music is that it means something to me, creates some sort of feeling (other than disappointed), and this really doesn’t. I’m now especially glad Fall Out Boy called it quits when they did.

On the flipside, the new Hellogoodbye album is nothing short of fabulous. Much of the silliness is gone, but it’s still bucketloads of fun and is just overall pop perfection. Yay! **dances** Would it kill you? sees Forrest and co discard the dated overblown synths and fully embrace catchy hooks. It feels fresh and has the natural touch of a band following their instincts, and doing it well. Forrest continues to write his particular brand of lovesong, set to breezy melodies that are infectious, alternately soft but also frenetic. It’s sentimental without being unbearably saccharine, and is overall everything progression for a band should be. All the quirky, sunny Hellogoodbye elements that had you grinning four years ago are still there, just more developed and refined. Would it kill you? is an upbeat, cohesive album that should appeal not only to the band’s original (and sadly aging) fanbase, but also to those who missed them the first time around. I think it’ll be a staple for me this summer.

I’ve also heard lots of good things about the new Yellowcard – yes, they’ve reunited, like a lot of bands they’ve wised up to their delusions and realised they’re much better together than apart (how are those solo careers working out for you, Panic?) It’s called When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes and is only due out in March. I hope for good things. They do have a violin after all. Timing is spot on for me too, I’ve been listening to Ocean Avenue a fair bit lately.

While I’ve moved more into indie territory, I think that pop punk, when done well, still has the ability to make me happy. I just have refined my tastes now and I’m not so willing to give every single one of them a free pass onto my ipod. They’ve got to earn it. It’s a saturated market and a sea of mediocrity. If a band doesn’t mean it, if they sound like every other band and don’t even try – well, why should I? We’ll always have the golden memories of 2006-2008 kids, but you’ve got to lift your collective game.

On a note that has nothing to do with emo, power pop or indie music, I am so digging Jet's Shaka Rock at the moment. It's a year after its release, but hey, rather late than never! I've realised that I really like Jet. I wasn't keen on the second album, but both Get Born and Shaka Rock hit just the right spot, filling a void for a band that recalls both The Beatles and AC/DC. How it hasn't gone platinum, I don't know. Perhaps I'm continuing my trend of liking albums other people generally don't. I sort of adopted 'Are you gonna be my girl?' as an anthem when it was first released and I didn't think they'd ever be able to match it - 'She's a genius' does it though. I love it. So, so much. I fear part of my love of this band may be narcissism, but hey, who cares right? Rock and roll. They're also exceedingly good live, better than I had expected them to be, so if you ever get the chance to check them out, I'd recommend you take it.

Now back to the very un-rock-n-roll world of employment drudgery.

If what you know is who you are, then she's everything
You don't need an education to know the class you're in
They said,  oh hey there girl, tell me what do you do
She said, um nothing but I'm damn sure it's more than you

Music: She's a genius- Jet

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