Monday, April 26, 2004

My 100 Favorite albums of all time. Done.

#1) The Replacements - Let It Be (released in 1984, I got this on cassette at City Lights my freshman year of college. I already owned all of The Mats/Westerberg's major label albums except Don't Tell A Soul)

Side one brings up the good memories. "I Will Dare" a giddy, nervous first date, "My Favorite Thing" bursting with adoration and gleeful disbelief on that perfect morning after. The boys are back in town on "We're Coming Out" and we're all cracking up and having ice cream cuz "Tommy Got His Tonsils Out." Good times and you're really appreciating them because you've found someone to fall asleep with and you love each other so, "Androgynous." For the encore, the band flexes their pop-metal muscles with a cover of "Black Diamond," revelling in the pleasures of cheeseburgers, cafeteria food, psychotic guitar solos, good jokes, rock radio, garage bands playing ironic covers unironically well, bad movies, being midwestern schleps without a care in the world.

"Unsatisfied"'s either a statement of nonconformist pride or an anxious cry of desperation or the most gorgeous song the Replacements ever recorded or a song I'm dying to hear performed on American Idol. The triumphant riffage on "Seen Your Video" and "Gary's Got A Boner" are undercut by Paul Westerberg's cranky lyrics. Turns out he can't just turn the TV off when Huey Lewis comes on and the cheap, physical side of the whole dating thing is starting to get him down. "Sixteen Blue" is allegedly an "Everybody Hurts"-style paean to the hip adolescent but Paul sounds like he's realizing that he STILL doesn't understand a goddamn thing, that he's STILL a deluded romantic. Despondent, alone (band must be off getting drunk somewhere cuz they ain't here), confused, needing to make a connection, he calls her up and gets the "Answering Machine."

Story of my life.

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