I remember the holiday season of 1998 like it was yesterday. I was given a portable CD player, and a few albums. One of the albums I had asked for was Eve 6’s album, Eve 6. I remember listening to the major single from the album, Inside Out over and over. Little did I know, at the time, that the rest of the album would grow on me so much.
The album opens up with the track How Much Longer, which immediately gets you bobbing your head and tapping your toe with percussion. You’re pulled in to a fast paced album and you’re hooked. It’s followed up with the major single, Inside Out, then other tracks that I can’t get out of my mind to this day continue to follow up. Leech, includes lines about the kind of person who needs to lie to try to make themselves more interesting in social situations… “you’re suckin’ on my brain / you’re the teacher I’m the student / turnin’ things around, your story’s not congruent.” Something that holds as true now, as it did when I Was 14, is the fact that I’m still shocked to hear the word “congruent” in a lyric.
Maybe the song writer simply used a rhyming dictionary, but it really seemed like an intelligent form of rock that was hard to find. I was thrilled when I heard Open Road Song, just because it was a fun song that made you want to go fast – whether I was cranking it through headphones while roller blading at 14, or when I turned 16 and got my driver’s license. Still songs like Small Town Trap seemed like an anthem for my tiny hometown and people like me stuck in it as teenagers. And even as a child, I could tell that the song Tongue Tied was about someone tired of being smarter than their classmates, and just wanting to be one of the kids in class, just like everyone else: “Pardon me, sir, / could I ask you a favor? / Make me a cowboy / like my next door neighbor.”
Yes, Eve 6 was geek rock, in the vein of the Weezer music of the time. That is to say, a time before Weezer got an unusual amount of confidence in who they were, and forgot that they grew up in their garages playing Dungeons and Dragons and listening to KISS. But I digress. The self titled Eve 6 album is a rare gem I still find myself enjoying from time to time, and it is something you should listen to more than just the hit single from. Eve 6 wasn’t a one-hit-wonder in my memory, I really enjoyed their first major-label album all the way through.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Music Monday isn’t always about discovering something new. It’s just something you should hear. And if you grew up like I did, you heard a lot of The Beatles. And if you’re father is like mine, track 11 on this album will be etched in your 8 AM memory like no other song in history.
I, like most teenaged computer geeks, stayed up too late and slept in whenever I could. But 8 AM when my dad (Red) wanted to wake me up, we would pop this disc in, skip to 11, and crank it… to 11. A rooster crows, the band kicks in, “Good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning-a!” Many people call this the album where The Beatles sold out – their style changed, it was too accessible.
I disagree, because prior to this, they were pop-gold! Songs like HELP!, and even on Revolver, just prior to Sgt. Pepper, Got to Get You in to My Life – the songs were love songs. It wasn’t until the follow up to Sgt. Pepper, fall ’67’s Magical Mystery Tour that the flop top good boys from across the pond really started to “off the deep end” and starting putting out more and more psychedelic songs.
You get a taste of that on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, in the song A Day in the Life, which really takes you on a journey and tells a story. But from beginning to end, I still love this album, and it holds a special place in my memory. Songs like Fixing a Hole, and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds might’ve been a precursor of things to come, while songs like When I’m Sixty Four are just simple sweet love songs. It was a great album when The Beatles were at a crossroads, and when the boys from Liverpool were growing up the only way 1960’s rock stars knew how.
You might not remember Cornershop, but you’ve probably heard them. Their album is an eclectic sampling of influences from around the world, and Spin magazine called it album of the year in 1998. It’s easy to see why, it’s addicting.
American audiences (with their new found love of Hindi-films on Netflix) may only just be beginning to understand some of the references, but that won’t stop you from nodding your head along with catchy drumming, easy vocals, and myriad of instruments. But the opening two tracks, for most people, are probably the most memorable. Sleep on the Left Side and Brimful of Asha hook you right in to the album. Brimful… is also known as “Bosom for a Pillow” because of the refrain “everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everybody needs a bosom.”
Candyman has a funky sound you can’t help but love, and while you keep expecting some form of contemporary rap to appear on top of the song (which eventually and only briefly arrives), it remains, for the most part, an instrumental only piece. The nearly 4 minute song is very light on lyrical influence, letting the drums and bass guitar do most of the work. You can say the same for a track called State Troopers. Track 11, however, takes what you’re used to and expecting, and swaps it for a American style country-music-influenced song entitled Good to be Back on the Road Again, which includes lines such as “It’s good to be on the trail / from where my heart set sail / put an anchor down for friends, and good beer.”
The entire album really takes what you expect from a pop album, and mixes in more of what we’re seeing from current generation Psychadellic-Funk-Indie-Rockers. If people ask me about albums I’ve been listening to for well over a decade, standards that I keep in my collection and I always go back to, When I Was Born for the 7th Time is at the top of that list.
Music Mondays are among the least read articles on my site. So this time, if you are reading this, stop reading and start writing! What have you been listening to, lately? Leave a comment below!