Music reviews ahoy

Since I have quite the collection of music, I figure that a productive use of my time would be to review some of the albums in my playlist. While it’s not at all cool to admit, I’m a bit of a sucker for the occasional “emo” track. (For all the purists, not “emotional hardcore” by any means. Think “angst emo.”) There’s more information in my Facebook profile about particular groups I listen to. I find most genre classifications to be fluid and subjective, depending on the listener and their associated company.

Why the emo angst stuff, though? Sometimes I listen to these songs with an ironic sense of the actual lyrics. A well-adjusted person would find it hard not to laugh when confronted with a masterpiece from Hawthorne Heights:

Ohio Is For Lovers – Hawthorne Heights
So cut my wrists and black my eyes.
(Cut my wrists and black my eyes)
So I can fall asleep tonight, or die.
Because you kill me.

Honestly, you can’t take that sort of thing seriously. It has the syndrome of “did your dad yell at you because you didn’t mow the lawn?” as its primary element.

I can’t blame all of my particular musical tastes on irony (although a good percentage of rap or hip-hop in my collection is clearly for this purpose alone.) Sometimes you can’t listen to the lyrics at all, because if you do it ruins the particular melody of a decent-sounding song. So what if power chords in a 3 beat pattern are trite, cliche and overused? It all just blends together in the background if I’m working on something particular. For example, if I were to write out several lyrics of my current track:

But I can’t take this anymore
I think that nothing can fly
With this broken wing
There’s so much to hold on to now

At first glance, it’s a horribly depressing song. Nobody wants to hear about being prevented from flying. Pretty little birds fly, and we don’t want to lose those! A majestic eagle flies, representing all that is true and valiant and good! Many of our culture’s upbeat, positive songs involve flying! (Note: the particular track, “I Believe I Can Fly,” is positive only when you don’t consider R. Kelly’s criminal record and its associated connotations.) The song above is actually Story of the Year’s “Burning Years.” It’s got a fairly decent melody, but you cannot just concentrate on the lyrics or it’s really horribly depressing.

Speaking of Story of the Year, they have two significant albums on the market. Their 2003 release, “Page Avenue”, has the title track Until The Day I Die that’s possibly the best representation of their vocal and tonal style on the album. In 2005, “In The Wake Of Determination” continued in a similar vein with We Don’t Care Anymore. If you want to fanboy it up, the Wikipedia article is suitably biased towards them and their fans, whereas the talk page contains mostly genre debates.

(The particular fallacy of “In my opinion, as i think i have the right to decide – being a loyal fan and a supporter” is quite predominant.)