Sometimes I wonder why I listen to so much music. It used to simply be out of an obligation I felt I had to fulfil; listen to as many albums as I can to make sure I look like I know my stuff, be a real music nerd! Maybe I'm looking for new ways to be creative and fire up my brain so I can finally do something I'm proud of. Maybe I'm bored and a generally uninteresting person with nothing better to do than sit in my room and stream a bunch of air wiggles on my decent quality gaming headphones for hours a day.
In reality, it just means everything to me. And I realise that music is the thing I enjoy most in life.
Hell, it's something everyone loves. Sharing music, streaming music, screaming out lyrics to music and then giggling about it afterwards because of how off key you were. It's all just such a happiness inducing experience you don't get with anything else. It's so hard to pin down: but that's exactly what makes it so great. It's not found elsewhere. I'm agnostic but the moment I hear music I treat it like a spirituality. The most important element to this all is that music should be enjoyed, no matter which way you cut the cake, whether that be as a means of introspective artistic expression or simply as a 4 chord rock ballad about getting drunk on cheap beer at the local bar. It's entirely up to the person, but no matter how you view it, you should always have fun with it. Unfortunately though, you can run into blocks to that. And when it disappears, you don't realise how lucky you were until you're out of it.
Around March this year I started hating music. I listened to too much that I just ended up not caring and instead of just enjoying music I fell into a hole of listening to music just for the sake of listening to it. I no longer wanted to hear music because I was legitimately looking forward to hearing it, but simply because I felt I had to to serve God knows what purpose. It sucked me up. And then I entered a state that caused me to leave places I'd loved previously and stop talking to people the same way I used to. This lasted for a week.
But just before that I remembered something. For a brief moment before I just gave up completely, there was this glimmer of hope that things might be good again.
It was about a week before dead period that I'd listened to an album that no matter how many times I replayed it I always got sucked back into its supremely catchy and fun experience. No matter what stupid number I attached to it, my feelings of pure joy and excitement I'd only felt in a much earlier time of music discovery kept resurfacing every time I heard the album. This was Taking Back Sunday's Louder Now. But it wasn't this alone: it was a friend of mine who was hearing it for the first time with me that helped all of this surface.
With this friend, I'd been listening to albums with them for a while at my request, which was started over a shared interest of Interpol's third album, Our Love to Admire. After that we discovered that music listening was fun when it was with another person - it was like going on a whole different journey. So we kept going. As we exchanged favourites, I got a feeling I'd only gotten since early 2020, an entire year before this took place.
It was like rediscovering my love for music: that sense of joy and excitement you only get as you discover something new and then realise just how many possibilities there are ahead. Going on that journey with them again was like I was experiencing it myself for the first time, rediscovering what I'd loved so much about music in the first place. It kept things exciting, fresh and most of all, it made me want to keep going. With everything.
During this time, the person picked up some of their passions they hadn't in half a year and I got into writing more. In fact, around this time is where I started consistently writing longer reviews and being motivated to keep this consistent effort up. The more time elapsed the deeper we got into these things. We became better friends as a result and things were great. Until they had to leave. As a parting gift, we listened to Louder Now. I didn't notice it then but that was the peak. That there was the key to why I'd enjoyed the last few months so much.
As soon as they'd left, and we had finished Louder Now I just couldn't get the spark going. And as cliche and cheesy and annoying as this may sound I discovered that music was much better with friends. That's what made it click.
I decided that after that week was over I'd pick myself up again. I put on Louder Now and suddenly it was like life was coming back to me. You may think this is hyperbole but I swear to God I felt alive again. Every single chord and screamed high note from Fred Mascherino hit me and resonated in my head for ages. Life affirming. Every track and every groove right down to every single fucking note I heard on the album. The powerful chorus of My Blue Heaven, the manic energy of Spin and that instantly head moving groove of What’s It Feel Like To Be a Ghost? And since then I just couldn't deny how much this album means to me. And just music in general.
Thankfully the friend is back, and while it may not be that same era of discovery I just thought I'd take this review to give them a formal thank you. Thank you for making my music experience worth it and giving me so much fucking happiness over the course of this year. You made me realise just how fun music can be to listen to and just how much I appreciate people that I can share these experiences with. You probably hate how cheesy this sounds but idfk, cry about it or some shit. Thanks a ton. And thanks to this album. Thanks to all of this to kicking sense into my stupid ass. And if there’s a bottom line to any of this incessant rambling then I guess it’s this: enjoy music. For the love of God. It’s one of the best fucking things on this planet.
-to Murdoc66. Happy birthday <3