It’s been a busy few days around these parts. People getting cut, preseason season ending, and various season previews being written (go read Weston’s about the Texans if you haven’t already; it’s the best). Amongst all this, I think it’s time to take a step back and chat about something non-football related.
Let’s talk about music. I want to talk about one album from one band in particular. I’ve always had this feeling that there are various moments in your life where you come across one piece of music, film, or TV that changes your perception of the art form and shapes your artistic taste for those things moving forward. There’s a lot that goes into this. You could grow up in a family or area where certain tastes in music trickle down to you, and that music sticks with you for the rest of your life. For others, it’s more of a process of discovery over a long period of time to find a blend of music that you’re comfortable with. That’s what happened with me, I spent the early years of my life growing up to various early 2000s pop music that now makes me cringe. Stuff like this:
Good Lord, that’s terrible. Not quite as bad as this, though:
You ever wondered what Euro trash looked and sounded like? That’s it right there. That was the music of my early childhood. Pop/Dance that manifested into weird dance hybrids.
Now when you’re a early teen who likes sports, it can manifest itself in different ways when you can’t always play that sport. For me, video games was the outlet. I played the almighty crap out of the FIFA games on my PS2 from about 2004 to 2008. Much like Madden over in the States, FIFA is a yearly release; I saved up for it each year and purchased it every year (something which I now realise was also a mistake). The thing with FIFA games is that they came with an exceptionally good soundtrack. One such year had one song that I instantly gravitated towards.
It’s easy to see how it might stand out. That opening rip of the guitar is aggressive. It’s pungent, but not without a moment at the end of each verse where it’s toned back. Then there’s this swoon before it kicks back into the belting chorus. I could not get enough of this song. I listened to it more than I’ve listened to any other song. After listening to this song four or five hundred times, I looked for more stuff by Bloc Party and came across the album which ‘‘Helicopter’’ had been a part of. Silent Alarm was a giant revelation for me in terms of music. It was this weird rock-like alternative that sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before, and I adored it. Every bit of it. From the incandescent chorus on ‘‘Pioneers’’ to the pitter-patter of the bridge leading into the utter carnage that is the final moments of ‘‘Positive Tension,’’ it was stupidly fun to listen to. Every single song on this album is one that I can happily gush over for hours, but it’s not about the excellence of the album as a whole. What it changed for me was the terms of my own personal musical preference.
There was a door opened to this cool, new world of different sounds. From Bloc Party spawned an entire back catalogue of music that I now had a taste for. The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, and Doves all became new artists that I enjoyed. Even today, I still see traces of Silent Alarm in the other music I’m listening to. Music that’s meshed synths and various other intricacies with rock-esque rhythms and sounds. From the more melodic ballads of White Lies to the more thrashing, aggressive songs of Foals’ What Went Down album, I see the parts of Silent Alarm that led to these songs and artists.
I’ve definitely listened to more interesting music than Silent Alarm since then (Pendulum’s In Silico, Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled first album, Kendrick Lamar’s Section 80 , Kayne West’s 808’s & Heartbreak, Zepplin IV and Springsteen’s Born to Run), but I would have never gone near any of that music if not for Silent Alarm. I never would have gotten to those artists if not for a moment of realization that there’s a whole lot of music out there to be enjoyed.
That’s enough of me talking about my own musical taste. What about you? Was their an album or song that you listened to that changed your tastes or changed what kind of music you listen to? I’ll leave you to tell all in the comments below. The usual open thread rules apply, so go nuts (unless you have an allergy to nuts, in which case don’t).