Nostalgia For The Nineties
I don’t know what it seems to be about 2007. A handful of my favourite bands from the nineties have been reinvigorated to attempt that elusive ‘return to form’ tagline that every band struggles with, after reaching any critical/commercial peak in their career. I’ve already posted new tracks from Idlewild and Ash that suggest a sort of nostalgia for a sound that the band has evolved away from but yearns to resurrect. The Manics are the next on the boat, with new single Your Love Alone Is Not Enough returning that bombast and confidence together with a pared down sound. Is it that as bands get older, their rough edges that might have endeared you to them in the first place have been worn down with sandpaper and (more likely) cleaner-cut production?
A lot of people seem to suggest that, claiming Idlewild’s A Remote Part and Warnings/Promises didn’t ‘rock’ as much so they weren’t on par with earlier releases. Is it just the tunes? the times? or that we can’t have the same emotional contact with a band’s 4th/5th album as opposed to their debut? In general I believe the latter to be the case. I could take someone like the Super Furry Animals, where every album is equally worthy of merit, yet if it came to a favourite album of theirs, I would have to side with Radiator, simply because that’s the one that first hit home. Again, Supergrass -> In It For The Money, same reason.
There’s been plenty of debate about the Modest Mouse album, how it’s trying to be a commercial retread of what they did on Lonesome Crowded West or The Moon and Antarctica. I’ve only heard a handful of songs from those two albums, and a couple off the new record, and I’d have to say that I prefer the new ones I’ve heard. Is that because my entry point was Good News For People Who Love Bad News? Is anyone else following me here?
Then again, there’s an argument that comes up to destroy any sort of discussion, saying that ‘it is as much about the person as it is about the music, so of course opinions are going to differ, noone’s right or wrong’. But that’s a cop out… and where’s the fun in that?