I’ve just rediscovered an album that had suffered from prior overplaying. And now I’m overplaying it again. Someone send help!
The album in question is ‘Keep You‘ by Pianos Become The Teeth. It’s extremely good. They went from being punky-screamo-raw upstarts via an examination of grief, to being epic, emotional, melodic kind of post-rock/post-hardcore? The transformation in just three albums in sound is incredible. And ‘Keep You’ is just a stunning achievement. It’s incredibly layered as an album, with intensely personal and gnomic lyrics that make you feel like you’re just hearing singer and lyricist Kyle Durfey’s brain; riffs that echo each other, and tangle up, and burst and bloom; drums that shimmer and skitter behind them. I love it so much.
And at the moment it’s just about the only album I listen to. Ostensibly, of course, there’s no problem here. I love the album. I get richly rewarded every time I hear it. It unfurls more of its secrets and hecka-cool moments the more I listen. What am I so scared of then?
I first heard this album around 18 months ago. I instantly fell in love with it. And listen to it on hard rotation for two months, got to know and love the ins and outs of each song, the flow of the work as a whole. And then I moved on to the next thing. And the album lay dormant, with all its intricacies (I really love this album), just not being listened to. And now that I’ve rediscovered all that I love about it (plus a few bonus tracks!), I don’t want to let go of it again. But I’m scared I might. I have a tendency to go hard at one album for a long period of time, and then let it lie. Sometimes I’ll go back, but I’ll usually be onto the next thing. Is there any way to combat this in myself? Is there any point in trying to resist my nature? Is it my nature?
The thing is, I love getting into the cracks and crevices of an album, finding it’s strengths and weaknesses. But I also love hearing new music and new sounds, old artists trying new things, new artists trying old things. I suppose that overplaying an album will be a by-product of that forevermore. And it leaves something you know well to be rediscovered at a later date. Like I’ve also just rediscovered Linkin Park’s first album. Fresh.
Overall, I neither recommend nor don’t recommend overplaying an album. I think getting to know something intimately over a short period of time, and then periodically reminding yourself of what drew you into it can be a wonderful thing. By the same token, I want to keep loving the albums I love for all time, and only add to the collection with new stuff. So essentially, I’ll just keep right on trucking.