Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this new series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
Novak, Polish Club: Weezer – ‘Weezer (The Blue Album)’
Dear Blue, you old son of a bitch.
I know we haven’t spoken in quite some time and that I’ve been spending time with some younger albums lately. But no matter how much I try to forget what we had, I am constantly confronted by underwhelming attempts to replicate the feeling you gave me. Nothing compares, nothing compares, to Blue…
It feels weird to address music that I like. It’s so much easier to rag on bad music and hate on stuff. It’s more visceral and makes me feel way better about myself. But, music that I actually like? Admitting that someone’s done a much better job at writing something that I will never be able to claim as my own? Realising that someone you don’t know and have nothing in common with has shaped a large part of your musical upbringing (what a stupid term). Realising that the person largely responsible for that album is a socially awkward, bizarre, super nerd? Well, that’s just awkward. But that’s you, Weezer’s Blue Album, the golden standard of self-deprecating, loner jams.
I was seven years old when you were birthed. Far too young to understand the complexities of going surfing (‘Surf Wax America’) or going on vacation (‘Holiday’). In my single digit years, I was more preoccupied listening to the child-friendly musings of Dr Dre, attracting honeys like a magnet, givin ’em eargasm with his mellow waxing, still moving this flavour, with his homies Blackstreet and Teddy, the original rump shakers…
But I digress. Eventually, my best friend’s nightmare of an older brother would be relentlessly blasting the strains of repetitive power chords blasting from two guitars tuned to E-flat, and screaming “THE WORKERS ARE GOING HOOOOOME. YEAAAAH YEAAAAH YEAHHHHHHHHH.” He’s an absolute gentleman now, but he was a bloody arsehole back then, as any older brother would be to his younger brother and his BFF. So, of course, I thought to myself, “this guy is such a jerk, I absolutely must listen to the music he’s obsessed with.” I guess somehow even back then, I was already an aspiring arsehole.
Fortunately, after about a decade of listening to the Blue Album on repeat, it’s innate self-deprecation and musings on personal insecurities had rendered me too brittle to have developed enough confidence to become a true arsehole. It wasn’t until I had come out the other end of regretful nu-metal that I had been able to think I was better than everyone else and truly embrace my inner douchebag. So I suppose I should be saying thank you Blue, for fighting the good fight against the classic Durst dirge of “We won’t ever give a fuck until you give a fuck about me and my generation” (just writing that made me die a little), with a heavy, sobering dose of self-effacement and reticence. It’s a miracle I can string a sentence together, let alone a lyric, after years of an inner monologue that sounded like a ring announcer calling a Durst v. Cuomo fight.