I think I might’ve written about this before, but I can’t remember and don’t want to go scrolling through previous posts.
As I was driving home today, listening to First Impressions of Earth, I got to thinking about how there are some songs or albums (more albums in my case) that I bought when I was younger - First Impressions being a good example - and kind of dismissed to my CD rack because it wasn’t what I expected. I think it’s a safe bet to say that a lot of people dismissed First Impressions because it wasn’t what people wanted to hear after the highs of Is This It and Room On Fire, because a lot of people wanted The Strokes to essentially redo Last Nite and Reptilia again and again under different names, but I remember when I bought the album, I wasn’t a huge Strokes fan and I bought it because of one song, Heart In A Cage. After hearing that song I thought I needed to buy the album, so I did, and then I heard the likes of Jukebox and I was generally unimpressed.
However, listening to it now, I think the album is up there with The Strokes’ first two releases, and to some extent I slightly prefer it because it’s got so many good songs across the album - it’s not an album that has a few big big songs and then fills the rest with average songs (not saying that’s the case on the first two albums, but there are a lot of albums out there that fall into that category). Even Jukebox, a song I used to hate, is now a good song in my opinion. So what changed? My opinion on The Strokes hasn’t changed drastically - I like them more than I did then, but it’s not a fanatical kind of like that I share for someone like Bon Iver or Foals where sometimes I will force myself to like a song; I guess it’s me that’s changed, and I like to think that maybe I wasn’t ready to listen to that album at the time, maybe my musical taste hadn’t developed enough.
I was trying to explain this to Meg on Saturday night (at least I think I tried), I was saying how before now I would dislike a song because it was popular or commercial and I wouldn’t really consider whether or not I liked it, but now it doesn’t really matter to me, or it makes less of a difference, where the song comes from or who it’s by. In the same way, I’m not going to like something because other people do. And whereas the first trait was one of ignorance, this one is one I hope to keep, to maintain, because I don’t think anyone should like something for the sake of it or for the sake of others. That’s why people who wear band t-shirts in town do my head in - I always assume (not my best quality) that they’ve bought it from somewhere like Topman and are wearing it because they might have heard of the band or heard one song and pretend that they’re a fan. Sure, a lot of people fall for bands after hearing a song for the first time - lord knows how many times that’s happened with me - but you won’t see me sporting their colours after hearing something of them or of theirs. I find it almost insulting cause it’s like they don’t get it, what it is to genuinely feel for a band, which sounds a bit sappy, but it’s something I believe in. I refuse to believe that people don’t have at least one band or artist that they are fanatical over, one band or artist that they have at some point tried to learn everything about, tried to listen to every release.