Posted on July 2, 2007
But yesterday, I pulled out my old Dears albums (No Cities Left, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, and Thank You Good Night Sold Out). Last year I remember listening to these albums incessantly. It’s basically all I listened to all last summer. I got me through quitting smoking and working in a law-firm. These sounds hold very vivid memories for me. I also went to see them live at the Metropolis during the Jazz festival and it was seriously one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen. While some shows have a hard time getting on the excitement wagon, this one sits at the peak of Mount Amazing-and-Memorable-Shows-I’ve-Seen.
So, I pulled out the albums yesterday. Haven’t listened to them in almost a year and I wondered why. Why? Because of Gang of Losers. Gang of Losers came out, I listened to it for 2 weeks and then dropped them completely. I’m glad though, because now I go back to this and realize what a masterpiece No Cities Left truly is. That album is blissful musical pleasure from beginning to end. Which brings me to my point: I had to reconsider John’s argument about the masterpiece. Like, what was I expecting after No Cities Left? Another one just like it? Because if I was, I might as well sit there and listen to No Cities Left forever until my head explodes because bands don’t usually release the same album twice in a row. And especially great and magnificent bands. Great and magnificent bands evolve and that means change. Change is sometimes for the best and sometimes not. But I guess it’s like trying to fall in love with someone else when you’re already head over heels for someone else. When you’ve found the one, you stop looking because everything else seems so boring and irrelevant. So maybe No Cities Left was like heartbreakfully magnificent in a way. Maybe I wasn’t over No Cities Left. And now that I listen to it again, it’s all clear to me now, I so wasn’t over it. This album still touches me in a way that makes me want to stop the world from turning and spend a week in bed with it while ordering cheap take-out until my friends wonder if I’m still alive (reference Sex and the City when Carrie meets Aidan).
The Dears are just so great it gives me hope that maybe the next album will possibly be better than Gang of Losers. And it mends my heart a little bit to listen to their old albums and realize that, no, there is no such thing as a band who produces fantastic albums forever without the occasional flop. And it’s not a complete flop either, just lacks the hard cynical edge I so much adored in the other albums. But I guess that, as it is in love, you can’t constantly feel that way (cynical and heartbroken) or else you’re missing out. In that way, Gang of Losers is a logical evolution that steered in a different way, and was in a way necessary. And now that I listen to Gang of Losers afer having immersed myself into the old albums, I actually like it. It’s pretty good.