What makes a great comeback album?
I procured a copy of one of my favourite band’s new albums. I’m still dissecting it, and as I said before I wouldn’t be a review blog. That’s for some other blogger to tackle. I didn’t get out to see a show this week. And I thought interviewing myself Saturday night while I was DJing would have been a touch big headed of me. But as I’m here listening to this album, trying to figure out whether I dig it or if I think the band is better off just playing their old stuff or I think that they have evolved musically for the better or worse (I’m looking at you, A.F.I!!!). Well all that’s swirling in my head. So I’m thinking what makes a follow-up album worth adding to my collection? If its a bands second or seventh album there’s a loose formula that I think makes a great Sophmore (or fifth year senior) LP.
1: Original Members
This is the first thing that comes to mind for me. Before the recording begins, has the line-up changed? Are they really still the same band?
The SECOND DUMB AND DUMBER MOVIE!
2: First Song
That first song has to really grab you. There has to be a foreshadowing of whats to come and how this album wants you to see it.
Big ups to:
Rancid – …..And out comes the wolves – Maxwell Murder
Avett Bros. – Emotionalism – Die Die Die
The Presidents of the United States of America – These are the Good Times People – Mixed up SOB
3: Genre Buster
That one song on the album that shows you the band is evolving or at least branching out and trying something that they weren’t before. (Sometimes the whole album goes in this direction, it can either be genius or disaster.)
Cake – Bsides and rarities – Thrills
Thursday – Common Existence – You were the Cancer
Lou Reed – The Raven the whole gosh darned album!…. This was just out of sane!
4: End it Epically
The final song really should summarize the album. This goes for any album first or fifth. If you don’t listen to any of the other points I’ve made listen to this one please. So many great albums have been marred this one way.
Murder by Death – In Bocca al Lupo – The Devil Drives
No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom – Tragic Kingdom
Osker – Idle will Kill – Disconnect, Disconnect
Rollins Band – Get Some Go Again – LA MONEY TRAIN
5: Gives us something we feel comfortable with.
Make sure that within all this new material you hearken back to a time when we were all more innocent and everything you put out was gold. Show us you haven’t forgotten the people that made you successful enough to put out another album.
Musical Comfort Food
Tiger Army – Music from Regions Beyond – Forever Fades Away
Soul Coughing – El Oso – So Far I Have Not Found the Science
Rage Against the Machine – The Battle Of Los Angeles – Mic Check
6: The Jackals Are Wrong!
Most IMPORTATLY: The Critics are wrong! If the album rocked, they think it was the worthless pandering of a couple of chimps on a davenport. If they think it rocked they are probably telling us something we already know.
These are some of the things I ask myself when I check out a new album from a band I already dig. Then the final test is to just randomly listen to the whole discography and see how that makes you feel. At the end of the day theres nothing much you can do aside from hope that this album fits into their discography.
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