Thursday, October 19, 2006

Coming to the end of an album - Part 1

When I was in my early teens and I was starting realise how much music meant to me, I used to find the end few tracks of an album increasingly depressing. Regardless of the mood of the songs it would leave me feeling slightly empty, or perhaps more accurately, lonely. I'm an only child and was (partially involuntarily) quite a loner. I spent much more time playing guitar and absorbing myself in music than in the company of other kids. I'm not moaning about it, but it's true. So when I reached the final stretch of an album, I suppose I knew the world I had wrapped myself in for the last 9 or so tracks was coming to an end, and I would be left on my own until the next CD/cassette.

Of course it didn't help with records like Nevermind or Superunknown that end on a particularly melancholy note ('Something in the Way' and 'Like Suicide' respectively). But even stuff like Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream (that drifts out on the soothing 'Luna') or The Offspring's Smash (that basically never strays from the style/themes of the rest of the record) had a similar effect.

Maybe I became more at ease with the world outside of music, or it was the fact that I learnt to enjoy melancholia, but either way I grew out of it. Perhaps if we didn't live in a world of shuffling iPods on endless repeat I would still feel the same. I dunno. But I do know I definitely wasn't the only socially uncomfortable teenager who immersed himself in music instead of dealing with the outside world. So now's your chance to come forward...

Your twopenneth:
Did you also have similar feelings about the end of albums. Or do you have any other bizarre quirks attached to the music you listen to? Please comment and i'll answer stuff in part 2.

In the meantime, does this stir any emotions?
Nirvana - 'Something in the Way' (expired)

Buy it here (like you didn't buy it years ago).


Anonymous Wes said...

I can't ever remember feeling like that about the end of an album - but often when knowing I was coming to the end of a book. And the books that get you the most are the ones you spend the least time with, because you can't put them down and so it's all over in a couple of days.

Quirky things with music? I used to be convinced that track 6 was *always* the best track on any album, to the point where I actually started to think it was deliberate on the part of some artists. I'll have to dig out some of the albums I was listening to at the time and see if this still seems true, or if it proves to be as mental as it sounds to me as I am now.. what's track 6 on the albums in your "best albums" list on this page?

8:09 am  
Anonymous The Great Boyg said...

How about the end of Broken Social Scene's eponymous album? The bit that goes 'Bum BumBumBum Bum BumBumBum Bum BababaBababaBababa BUM BUMBUMBUM BUM BUMBUMBUM BUM BABABABABABABABABA BUM etc etc'. Makes me feel far from melancholy. Still, I know what you mean. I don't think it wore off in adolescence either. I'm just trying to think of some others that make me feel as bouncy as that BSS closer. Any suggestions for upbeat endings?

5:51 pm  

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