My comic writing has gotten behind primarily because I haven't been to my LCS to grab books in almost 2 months with how chaotic school has been.....but I've been listening to all kinds of new-ish (or new to me) albums......so I figured I'd write about them! Am I a professional music critic? Hell no! Still a poser like I am with everything else, but I sure do have headphones in all the time...so here we go!
The Hum Goes On Forever
The Wonder Years
Released: September 23, 2022
Label: Hopeless Records
The Wonder Years has always been a go-to listen for me since I first picked up Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing in 2011, and whenever I need something to instantly hype me up Came out Swinging is a go-to. What keeps me listening to The Wonder Years eleven years later, is because their albums feel like they are aging along with me. No album hits closer to this 38 year old's home like this one. I'll say from the top, if you are a fan of the Wonder Years, you'll love this album. Let's talk specific tracks!
Track 1: Doors Painted Shut
The past couple of years have been rough with COVID, struggles with identity both personally and professionally, along with fighting through burnout at work. The one thing which has helped me feel more grounded are both my biological and found families. When the entire album starts with "I don't wanna die, at least not without you" I knew I would be hooked, especially when the final verse and chorus of the song is lines sandwiching the phrase "I don't like me." I knew whatever struggles Soupy and his bandmates are dealing with, I can relate.
Track 2: Wyatt's Song (Your Name)
I'm not going to lie, the end of the first listen to this song, I was in tears. Don't worry, unlike the fear and anxiety from the first track, this song is 1000000% about parenting and it is all love and normal forms of parental anxiety. I knew I absolutely had to watch the video on the second go through (I was using Youtube Music). I've had several folks point out Bright Eye's "First Day of My Life" as a song that shows their redefined love when their first child was born...this song (and the music video) is my new gold standard to show parental love for their children.
Do yourself and watch the video to see how full of pride and love Dan is with every single word, and then all of the parent/child interactions are absolutely amazing. If you are a parent, this song will fill your heart.
4. Cardinals II
This song is obviously a reprisal of the themes explored in Cardinals from their 2015 album, and offers a memory of the constant pain and struggle when we lose those who are close to us. If you could relate to Cardinals seven years ago, you can still relate today, and the song feels like a cathartic release of pent up pain and anger, which we can all relate to.
7. Lost it in the Lights
"When I was seventeen I wrote a song about how I was drinking kerosene to light a fire in my gut" and "What if the magic's gone?" Are two prominent repeated lines. Earlier I noted feelings of burnout and an identity crisis. This song perfectly sums up the past two or three years for me and how I finally feel like I've found solace and I know that the magic is not gone.
9. Low Tide
The lyrics are great, I'm constantly rocking my body to this, and again, like Came Out Swinging, this is now my 38 year old fight anthem because "I'm growing out my hair, because who gives a shit?"
12. You're the Reason I Don't Want the World to End
This offers a perfect bookend to all of the themes the album explores, the perfect conclusion to the emotional rollercoaster Soupy and the band has brought us along on, especially with the prior album in mind.
Stream this album, you won't be disappointed. While I don't really have a rating mechanism in mind, I'd give this 5/5, an A+ or something else hoakey like that, but this album to me is personable, will be on heavy rotation, and just damn good!