Monday, November 15, 2010

Follow Up Observation

It dawned on me a day or so ago that of the five albums from my latest There’s Only One post, three of my picks were debut albums, two of JT’s were (one admittedly by default) and one of his others a toss up between the debut and the follow up. It reminded me of a time in my life when I pretty much believed that the debut album was the best thing a band had to offer. The biggest reasoning behind this was that the songs comprising said album were the ones they’d been playing to a honed perfection for years, were the reason for the hype that got them the record deal in the first place and everything after was either attempting to capture that moment again or moving as far away as possible so as not to become pegged down by the weakened and watered down sound of past glories. There is certainly some merit to that reasoning, but it’s faulty all the same. And while I could (but won't) riff off some examples, I could also argue that debut albums are often the embryo of greater things to come; and sometimes they’re just aimless rambling around, mimicking idols or the current trends while searching for a “true” sound. In the end (or rather at the beginning), each artist’s story is different, and what it all boils down to is that with the debut, the sophomore or the swan song, an album is an album and is, or should be, the best that any artist has to offer to the best of their abilities at that point in their career. I mean I don’t know of anyone who would say that Please, Please Me is the best thing the Beatles ever made, but there are folks who will fight tooth and nail proclaiming Are You Experienced?, Piper at the Gates of Dawn or Led Zeppelin I to be the purest, truest and hands down greatest thing those respective artists ever put out. As always, it’s all in the ear of beholder, and while I may disagree with any of those opinions (and I may not), I’ll fight tooth and nail for said listener to hold that belief. At some point I’ll do a proper debut album post, but that’s not gonna happen right now.

Ok, I’m done.

Oh wait, on a completely unrelated note – Ben Folds is a tool. (Though his debut solo album is his best.)

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