This is not an album review, but maybe it kind of is.
Okay so there was this band. I knew a couple of their songs and I liked those songs. Those songs were catchy. A few people I knew were going to see them play and I was all like ‘Oh, sure, I’ll go too!’ You’ve done this before, right? The tickets are super cheap and the people are fun and it’s at a near-legendary venue in town and you know two songs and those two songs are good and besides, you have plenty of time to listen to more so what the hell, right?
So one of the fun people
you’re going to the show with with with whom you’re going to the show burns you legally purchases a copy of the band’s one album for you to listen to and enjoy before the show.
So you give it a listen. And another. And another. And eventually you’re like “What the hell? How is it possible that I like all the songs on this?” It’s been a very long time since you’ve experienced this – liking (and not just tolerating, or excusing, or merely acknowledging the presence of) every track. So you start to get amped for this show, right?
And then you find out the show’s cancelled.
Fast forward a few years – all the while listening to and enjoying this album. You’re aware they’ve made more music since then, but for any number of reasons haven’t really given much thought to checking out their next one.
It’s partly because you remember that time you got all excited that So-and-So had another album out and you broke your neck rushing out to get your hands on a copy. Debut Album was fantastic. You listened to it over and over. Surely Sophomore Album would be just as marvelous – maybe even more so!
But it wasn’t. It just wasn’t. And as you listened to Debut Album again, you realized it was because when you were hearing it for the first time, you were living in another state and hanging out with other people. Turns out, all the warm-and-fuzzy-feel-good sensation you got from listening to Debut Album had very little to do with the artist himself.
Anyway – that’s all behind you now. You’ve matured since then, right? Surely you’re able to handle musical heartbreak without feeling wronged, damnit! So you tentatively check out Catchy Band’s second album.
You preview a few tracks on iTunes are are like – wait, what? I know this one!
And this one, too!
And oh my gosh I love this one!
Adrenaline or serotonin or endorphins or whatever-it-is-that-makes-you-feel-good starts surging through your brain and you’re all like I AM BUYING THIS ALBUM RIGHT DAMN NOW.
And you do.
And – holy shit – you are pleased as fuck. Sophomore Album is as catchy, well-put-together, enjoyable, and all-around awesome as Debut Album.
But you’re not going to tempt fate by checking out Album Three just yet.
P.S. I didn’t think it was entirely relevant to discuss specifics – what the hell band are you talking about, Julie? But if you really care, you may read more about them here.
Awesome intro album vs. meh follow-up album…TOTALLY know that feel. I really liked your insight into how it sometimes has more to do with external influences than the music itself. Makes it much more comforting to think of it in that way 🙂
Oooh, it also works the other way around – coming across an album/artist you used to listen to incessantly… and failing to remember just why you were so attached to it/them in the first place.