We like to compare things. We seem, as a society, to enjoy taking the "new" and comparing it to "the old." When a new album comes out from a highly regarded artist, it takes only seconds until the comparisons are made. Is this as good as their debut?Why doesn't this sound like their most famous album? It's virtually impossible to escape it, and the idea behind it has inspired this week's "Thursday Discussion" topic. I wanted to branch out in a new direction with this column, and I was inspired by a post I saw in an earlier thread about the weight of an artist's first "major album" being so heavy, that they end up in a career of appearing to never be able to reclaim that former magic. Many times this is despite the band continuing to release fantastic music; however, since the circumstances of their first major release created such an attachment - their subsequent releases are deemed "not as good" and sometimes dismissed in search of a new attachment from another entity.
Now, I know this sucks for a lot of artists. Yet, I guess it's better to have a burst of glory than no glory at all. I can't help wonder how they feel with each new release ... if they're chasing the ghost of what was, trying to forge a new path, or just unconsciously caught in a vicious circle. That said ... this week I wanted to pick 10 releases that defined this category for our scene. These are the 10 "major releases" that I feel the bands have been chasing ever sense. And that's not to say each of these artists hasn't released some great, great music since their seminal recording. I'm curious what you think about two things: 1) do you have any other bands/albums that you think fit into this category? If so, what are they. And 2) what do you think of this phenomenon to begin with?
So ... with that ... here's my list of the top 10 greatest "major" albums that led to the band forever chasing their "one classic wonder" album in the minds of fans and critics alike.
Set Your Goals- Mutiny! I heard TWBTDOU first, but I hardly ever returned to that after I heard the earnest energy in Mutiny. I've had friends describe the album as "life-changing" and while I certainly don't agree with that statement, this album blows everything else they've done out of the water.
Weezer - Pinkerton/Blue Album Everyone knows about this. They haven't departed from the 'sound' so much as they've departed from the actual depth in the music. Every time they announce a new album (which is about twice a year) I get excited, only to be let down again. Maybe I should just give up.
Jack's Mannequin - Everything in Transit A pop masterpiece, and as much as I like TGP and P&T, neither of them stack up to the greatness that is this album. I can absolutely see why Andrew is thinking about hanging up the Jack's moniker, I wouldn't want to have to try to live up to this release either.