April 22, 2011

An Odd Musical Tradition

Despite the origin of my longtime Internet handle, I was never much of a religious person. That being said, in "observance" of every Good Friday I now have this odd tradition where I always play the same album.

More Than You Think You Are, Matchbox Twenty
First acquired in the summer of 2003, believe it or not I fondly regard this CD as one of my very first "real" rock albums. I was a pretty stupid teenager back then.

Besides the fact that a disturbing number of Rob Thomas's lyrics all seem to address how desperately he needs some sort of savior figure in his life, probably the most remotely Christian element in this whole album is the kickass gospel choir in "Downfall" (not to be confused with the meme-tastic German WWII film Der Untergang).

Matchbox Twenty is as faux-retro as you can get, a big-name artifact of a mildly regrettable era that emerged to try and fill the vast vacuum Kurt Cobain's Grunge left behind (without having to resort to bubblegum boy/girl pop groups, anyway). That whole era of just-passable rock bands was defined by this embarrassing mix of lyrical earnestness and overly self-conscious bids for musical credibility. One need only look back to the likes of Creed or Live to get a feel for how cheesy yet angst-ridden those post-grunge years were.

Incidentally Matchbox Twenty was also one of the biggest presences in my adolescent life for a while, the requisite totem I assumed in a volatile period in which almost every teenager needed some (often music-related) hero-slash-idol to project all their hormone-addled frustrations into.

By some accident of geography, I now often associate Good Friday with More Than You Think You Are. Catch me on a certain day and I may relive whole chunks of that decade to this band's music -- nay, even persist in my unironic adoration of them.

Hey, everyone's allowed to have at least one musical guilty pleasure, right?

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