Monday, December 14, 2015

Best Albums of 2015: Number Three

best albums of 2015

While I hate nostalgia, my number 3 album makes me nostalgic for things I kind of missed. I was really blown away by this album a few months and wrote about it here. It's Bully's full length debut Feels Like and it makes me feel young and wistful and rebellious and like I'm back in my twenties. The thing is for me, that comes with some melancholy and this album is the perfect cure for that as well.

feels like

I've mentioned in passing that back in the early to mid 90s, I think I went through a real depression. To this day, I don't know if it was clinical or if I was just very sad because I never sought help (I should have), but it was ultimately music that provided the support. And what was the music of that time? Grunge and the long string of outsider type alt rock that was being lumped into the same category at the time and was more easily accessible because anything edgy was pushed to the mainstream until the mainstream itself finally shattered. It was Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Juliana Hatfield, Belly, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, etc. What they all had in common was the voice of the loner, the geek, the outcast, the disaffected to one degree or another. And while that, in itself was not new to music, it felt somehow more immediate this time and it was of the moment so it really did feel like my music in a way that I don't think anything I'd ever heard before had. 


As much as I loved the music, though, I only experienced it and the whole culture from a distance, from inside the four walls of my bedroom mostly. I'd hear the music and once in a blue moon see these people on TV. I'm sure they were on all the time, but I didn't watch a lot of TV at the time, aside from Star Trek, really. But I did read a lot of Rolling Stone and Spin and was captivated by all these people. I wanted to go to wherever "it" was happening, but I was stuck. The albums, the songs, were my escape.

Anyway, I eventually got out of my hole. But the thing is, maybe because I had the music, that darkness left some strangely fond memories in my head. It's not that the sadness is glorified as much as that it serves as a period where, even though I was "God's lonely man" (I watched Taxi Driver a lot, too, by the way) and had little connection to humans, I had somehow found a stronger connection with Humanity through the music. So that is my odd nostalgia for the music of the era and it's a big part of what I feel when I listen to Bully, though completely updated and from a new perspective. This is that music, capturing those same emotions, but for today and it's very moving that this can still happen on some level.  And all that, with heavy rocking out at the same time, so it's not just a navel gaze. 

So, there you have it. An album that somehow makes me nostalgic for a dark period, while being new and exciting at the same time. It's such a salad of confusing emotions it had to be on my list. Go listen for yourself.

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