Lagwagon Let's Talk About Feelings, 1998
Let's start things off with the video, since it's the first track on the album and one of the first times they played it.
My friend Riley told me I would love this album. And I do now, but it took me a while to really understand that I should love it. This happens often.
So, on the surface, this is a pretty straightforward late-90's Fat Wreck pop-punk album. But then "Owen Meaney" ends and you play it again. And again. And again. And you come to realize that this album is all about connections, or rather a lack thereof. Every song examines some sort of disconnect or alienation. The fast pace is just a cover.
That's not to say I don't love the instrumentation. I do. It's so fun to air drum with. And the changes are surprising and refreshing at first, but then they become wonderful landmarks. Like in the middle of "After You My Friend" (from that video up there) where the music slows down and turns into elevator music for a couple of bars just to mess with you.
Even though I didn't feature it here, "Owen Meaney" is the crown jewel of this album. It starts off with an extended instrumental and then just when you think that it's just some weird instrumental, the lyrics come in, on fire. If you've read A Prayer For Owen Meaney, it hits even harder (It's a great book and you should definitely check it out) but it hits pretty hard as it is.
This is an album that I will love as much at 50 as I did at 20. But for vastly different reasons.
Lagwagon - Leave the Light On
Lagwagon - Messengers
You can buy Let's Talk About Feelings at Amazon, Amazon MP3, and iTunes
(The iTunes version is the re-release with 14 extra tracks of b-sides and stuff for the same price as the regular album on Amazon. Just sayin'.)