Ok, I'm gonna review this album again. I've not done that with any album before, but I feel like I need to update my review.
If you've looked round this site, you'll probably come to the conclusion that, amongst other things, I like this band. And you'd not be wrong. As a result, probably any review is going to be favourable, and this is no exception. This time though, I want to try and put across a flavour of why this album is just so damn good.
As I write this, days before Xmas '97, I've been listening to this album for about 9 months. it will be released in the UK in February next year, and is just gonna explode. One of the reasons is obvious. The press are going to focus on Aimee.
Another reason is that they've done something a lot of other bands have forgotten about doing. They've toured the UK hard. Two tours in 2 months before the album is released. They've built an interest the old fashioned way, through the power of the live performance, and being available to people afterwards.
Another reason however, that this album is going to do so well, is the sheer quality and vibrancy of the music. In an age where there is a lot of GOOD stuff, albeit sometimes one dimensional, this album and band are not afraid to mix things up. There are songs, songs, songs, topped off by performance which is so full of energy it's unreal. There's heavy, uptempo in your face music, such as Powerstrip, Disease and Drugstore. There's the more dream laden sounds of Electra. There's the sheer energy rush of Slide, Dog and Get With It. Each song is different. A statement which should be so terrifyingly obvious, but with many bands, is anything but. Most of these are gonna be classics in the eyes of many people by the end of next year.
And throughout everything, there's an underlying message, at least as far as I'm concerned. The lyrics would appear to deal with specific instances and events, but if you look past that, what comes across is that hey, sometimes life will fuck you up, in whatever way, BUT, you come through it. That's a part of life, and there is so much to see and explore. Yes, there are angry, bitter lyrics, but if there's one moment that defines this album for me, then it's the very last moment of the album. At the end of the final track, Get With It, Aimee lets go a little giggle which turns into a laugh. After all the emotion that the album deals with, you still get that giggle. Just like life, after all the trouble you can go through, it can still make you laugh and smile.
You can apply these lyrics and the general feeling to your own life, something I've not been able to do with many other bands lyrics. Normally they just exist for the purpose of singing badly in the shower or at a gig. Maybe it's just me not being able to make a connection, but this time I can, albeit on my terms and reflecting my life. This album I think will be a soundtrack for many people's reflections on aspects of their life, but in a positive uplifting way.
Ok, that doesn't tell you much about how the music sounds. It's heavy, light, dark, melodic, powerful. Songs mix up styles and twists. Aimee varies vocals during songs. The bass rumbles, and mixes with the drums to create something which is more than just the rhythm to the song. Take a listen to when the solo takes part in Disease to see what I mean. The bass and drums don't just fill the background, they become the song.
Like I said, it's going to be huge in 1998. That combination, music, lyrics, personality and zest will make it one of the most played albums of the year for many people. Just like it has this year for me. And still, I'm not fed up with it. I should be, but I'm not. This album has a longevity that I've not encountered in many years. Truly my album of 1997, and it will take some beating in 1998.