Welcome back! Well, I guess you guys never really went away, but I certainly did. Where did I go you might ask (assuming you aren’t a narcissistic prick, although as I type this I realize that’s probably half my demographic). Well, the truth is I really didn’t go anywhere. I became immersed in other projects, eventually forgot that this site even existed, and therefore never came back to it. However, today marks the day that I resurrect this beautiful project made up of music commentary and hate-filled sarcasm.
So if you’re reading this then I want to thank you for being a loyal fan of this site even through the long drought of content. There’s nothing I value more than your loyalty. Except for money… I’d take money over your loyalty any day of the week. But your loyalty is a close second and that’s not bad! So without further ado, let me introduce the first album that I’ll be scrutinizing in 2018. It’s the new album Past Lives from the underrated New York band Against The Current.
Strangers Again [Track 1]:
I’m glad to see that not all bands have forgotten the long-standing tradition of putting your best (or at least a not completely shit) track first. This is a tried and true method of hooking your audience immediately. It seems like an obvious strategy, and yet I don’t see many artists doing this anymore. Needless to say, Against The Current have come through in this regard. Strangers Again is right in the middle of this band’s comfort zone, with its light bubbly pop/rock sound and the smooth vocals of Chrissy Costanza. Although it can be seen as the band just repeating themselves and not going out onto a ledge and taking some chances with their sound, I prefer to view it as a good band who have developed their signature sound and is just giving their fans more of what they’re used to. Not everything has to be ground-breaking, sometimes we just want a decent track to listen to.
The Fuss [Track 2]:
Am I the only the one who thinks Stevie Wonder has the unofficial ownership of the phrase “the fuss”? Even before hearing the track I went into it expecting a Stevie-inspired wave of funk. Obviously Against The Current agrees with me, because to my surprise they actually delivered on the funkiness. I don’t mean James Brown on cocaine (otherwise known as James Brown) level of funk, but as far as pop/rock goes, it has a bit of a groove. The rhythm is upbeat, with a warbled electronic sound, and they combine with the projected vocals to make a lighthearted tune sure to make you want to get on your feet (assuming you’re inclined to do things such as dancing, standing, or generally enjoying life).
Scream [Track 6]:
So this is where it starts to go a little off the rails, or I guess you could say WITH the current (see what I did there? I hate myself…). This song starts with a few seconds of some random Asian music, and then dives into some Soprano vocals (No not vocals about the hit tv show, you fucking mouth breathers… google it!). And clearly, nobody has relayed to Chrissy that she has amazing power vocals and doesn’t need to resort to those higher pitches, because when she does it sounds like someone is squeezing one of the squeaky rubber chickens. So if you’re into squeaky Asians then you’ll love this song (and probably have a very interesting search history).
P.A.T.T. [Track 8]:
Who says social statements have to be boring and annoying (besides me, every single day)? Against The Current has created a Paramore/Carly Rae Jepsen concoction of music and injected it with lyrics that are meant to echo a powerful message from the feminist movement. The title stands for Pretty All The Time, and the lyrics bring up the topic of women feeling pressured to look their best all the time. While this is a nice attempt and good topic that definitely should be addressed (oh no, here comes the asshole part…) there are some issues in the exact way in which the lyrics go about it. The one repeated chorus line is “if love is blind, then why do we got to be pretty all the time?” Sounds great right? Wrong! The fact is that the people who are pressuring girls to constantly look their best aren’t people who love them at all (unless you count being interested in what’s under their clothes as love, which I think we should). The people who actually love a girl are the ones who want them to feel comfy and don’t mind them looking a bit more casual, so with those lyrics you’re essentially trying to jam a star shape into a square hole (but we’ve all been there. Some people at age 3 and others at age 20).
Is this album groundbreaking? No, not even ground cracking or paint chipping. However, it’s not awful so that’s something at least. Overall the music is pretty good, the lyrics are a bit off on some tracks but I suggest you just get lost in the mostly melodic voice of Chrissy and try not to look too deep into what she’s singing about (it leads nowhere good, trust me). I give this album 4 out of 5 fusses.