Strange Things Happen…

23 Jun

How are some debut albums so amazing?

I intern at a music company, and today I was alone in the office for a while. Naturally, the thing I most wanted to do was blast some tunes- the only question was what to pick. All day it’s been humid and rainy, so I needed a little soul. An extra dose of funk. My choice was James Brown’s “Live at the Apollo”. Listened to it all the way through with the door open so the hallway could hear it as well, and a woman from a neighboring office actually meandered in and stared grooving for a bit! No one can resist.

When that ended, I was so on that soul train that there was go gettin’ off- so Bill Withers’ “Just As I Am” it was. How is that a first album?! Artists spend careers looking for their “Ain’t No Sunshine” and he got it on the second track! Lucky duck.

I’m still on a bit of a Strokes kick, and “Is This It” (their debut) is definitely my favorite album of theirs: lyrics-wise, music-wise, recording-wise, everything. I love the lo-fi sound to it, how raw and wild Julian Casablancas’ voice is. On “Angles” it felt like they were taming it with the synthesizing and over-editing- not a fan. Go back to your roots, boys!

Is it better to start off with a mind-blowingly stellar first album so the following ones have a lot to live up to (and may not surpass) or begin more modestly and build? I guess you don’t really choose one way or the other, you just put something out that you’re proud of and cross those fingers.

Currently listening to: Let’s Go Surfing by The Drums

2 Responses to “Strange Things Happen…”

  1. lundygras June 24, 2011 at 12:59 AM #

    How can anyone resist the James Brown vibe!
    Get up offa that thing,
    and dance ’till you feel better,
    Get up offa that thing,
    and dance ’till you, sing it now!

    I’m guessing the guys from Boston, Meatloaf and Alanis Morissette all asked that very question after their first albums.

    • blogonlyknows June 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM #

      I have “more than a feeling” that you’re right about that! ;)

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