Friday, August 2, 2013

Turn The Radio Off - Reel Big Fish



Are you kidding me?

It's been nearly two years since I wrote an Album Project?

This is a shame, a sham, a terrible travesty.  I mean, it's not like music stopped being made, right?  Did it?  Because I really haven't been listening to any.  I mean, other than that hot new Queens of the Stone Age album, and the Original Production Recordings of West Side Story, and you know, all the music.  I mean, Gangnam Style came and went, Robyn Thicke and Justin Timberlake both released music videos full of tits, and I haven't written shit about music in a long time.  Jay Z has retired and come back at least 30 times since then, right?

Yeah, I know, I left you. I did you wrong. I went away, but I came back, baby, and you know I loves you, it's just producing some 2000 words for no pay about an album that people don't care about hurts so bad, but missing you hurts too, so fuck it, we'll do it live.  We're here, we're album projecting, get used to it.

Let's get this out of the way.  This shit will not be regular, but I cannot stop myself from coming back.  I'll probably do it in fits and starts.  But your job is the same.  Your job is to give me suggestions, and give me albums that you love.  I promise to write swear words interspersed with incisive-esque commentary about them.  Drop me a line, or throw something in the comments. QOTSA is probably next.

Turn The Radio Off - Reel Big Fish
Published in 1996

This was a middle school miracle.

I was in middle school when these guys got onto the radio in a big way, and they were super inspiring.

You see, I was a saxophone player in middle school, and I loved rock music.  Ska was the natural progression that I didn't know about.  For a brief moment, Ska became cool while I was a kid, and that was pretty awesome.  And then, in an instant, it was gone from the radio.  

You know what, I know why.  The songs are interesting, but it doesn't have quite the appeal that it did back then for me.  I've grown up, grown older, and kind of grown out of the worship that I had for ska. However, this album still kicks ass, and I'll tell you why.

Nostalgia.  It's a super important factor for what music stirs your heartstrings, as we have discussed in this space before. Reel Big Fish is great for nostalgia for three reasons.
1. Reel Big Fish sounds like whatever age you were when you discovered them.  At least for me, they remind me of being in middle school and high school, and that cusp of maturity.
2. Reel Big Fish has very distinctive runs in the horns that allow you to remember them with clarity, giving you the same kind of nostalgia as a really good guitar solo.  (Aside: why the fuck haven't I done a Satriani album or [duh] a Hendrix album? [Have I done a Hendrix album? {It's been so long, I had to look through the archives to make sure I hadn't done this one. -(How sad is that?)-}])
3. Reel Big Fish is able to write timeless lyrics.  They may not be great, but they are timeless.
Let's talk more about that third one.  The lyrics are not super complicated.  They are not poetry of the first order.  But they are and always will be, about real shit.  Girls, complicated relationships, wanting to be famous, trying to make a band, all of these are neither new or old.  They're just wheelhouse topics that nearly everyone can relate to.  The band has a really relatable tone about the whole thing too.  They seem to be winking with the audience, knowing that some of what they say is ridiculous, but it's okay, because everyone is having fun.

And it is fucking fun.  Not everything is going to be 808's and Heartbreak, or The Cure.  Sometimes, you just want to hear a guy sing ridiculous lyrics about his vegetarian girlfriend.  That is okay.  We're only human.

Look, do I think this is not optional? No. It's great, fun, and enjoyable for me.  That's the key.  For me, this is great stuff that I enjoy coming back to, but your mileage may vary.  However, if it varies a lot from mine, this blog might be a trudge.

Anyway, TAP is back.  Get excited.  Or don't, you know, whatever. (This line brought to you from 1996.)

1 comment:

  1. Junior year of high school is when I got into ska. My friend made an all ska mix tape called "The SKA-pilation". Once I'd heard enough new stuff, I made my own version called "The SKA-mplete Remix". Obviously, we were VERY popular.


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