Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Daily Blair: NO - Don't Worry You'll Be Here Forever

Album Rating: B+
Last Valentine's Day was one of the best days of my life. For most people this means roses, fine wine, and sex on top of a table were you put your fine wine and your roses. But for a guy like me the best Valentine's Day ever consisted of Radiohead announcing they were releasing The King of Limbs in five days. For me this was as exciting as having to spend $500 on a women just for and a few minutes of awkward pleasure would ever be. I had fallen head over heels in love with the Radiohead classics (Ok Computer, Kid A, and In Rainbows) like a normal person fell in love with another human being, I had waited for the next Radiohead album like a fat girl waits for Channing Tatum to magically pop out of a cake and propose to her, and I had dreamed of new Radiohead the way normal people dream of love at first sight. I guess the love of music (or muzik) had always kind of been more important than any other kind of "normal" love. Because the love of music was always unconditional, it was always a positive experience, it was always honest, and it was always something to logical to put in one damn greeting card or in the purchase of a few withering roses. Good music was always tangible, consistent, and borderline orgasmic. It was always the perfect Valentine.
But sometimes the wait for new music can be very exhausting. My exaltation at the announcement of the release of TKOL was preceded by four years of waiting for Radiohead to put out an album that would rock my universe. For the past few months I have been searching almost daily for any new news on an album from The National. Sigur Ros is so good that they should have to put out a new album every week. Having to wait for new music from your favorite bands is always a heartbreaking and humbling experience that makes you feel depressed but thankful that music means so damn much for you. You realize that music like true love is worth waiting for and you realize that once this music comes to you it will change and define your life in ways you never thought were possible before. But is there anyway to be patient without going insane? In real life we have hookers, drunk girls, porn, True Movie Thursday, and Mat's weird jokes on the Muzik Dizcovery Staff Page. But what is the musical version of hookers, porn, drunk girls, True Movie Thursday, and Mat's awesome jokes? What are the things that can help us get through the pain of the wait?

The easy answer is finding bands that kind of sound like your favorite bands, but that is always a lot harder than it sounds. The music that your favorite bands make has always been a lot more than simply music. Your favorite bands make music that help define a stage in your life, music that defines your happiest and saddest feelings, and music that you will always remember as something more than music. A band can sound like any of your favorite bands but they will never be one of your favorite bands because they simply do not have the same name. I have always believed that no band could take away the pain of waiting from an album from one of my favorite bands. No band could be my porn, my drunk girl, my True Movie Thursday, my hooker, or my dirty Mat joke. No band could take away the pain of waiting for the bands that I "really loved."

Some random band will never be as important as one of your favorite bands if they just try to copy their exact sound. For me there can Radiohead could never have a "Kid B," no one could never make anything as cool as "All The Wine," and no one could ever make anything as beautiful as the nine minute epic that is "Festival." But a band that successfully combines all of the best characteristics of these bands could end up being something more than simply a replacement. They could end up being another band worth waiting for.

NO are the perfect combination of the lyrics and the vocals of the National, the sound of Radiohead, and the openness of Sigur Ros. The band is a great combination of some of my favorite bands and the first thing that really impressed me about Don't Worry You'll Be Forever is the great lyrics and the vocals. The lyrics and the vocals sound very similar to Matt Berninger's on Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers yet they still somehow perfectly match the Radiohead and Sigur Ros like sound and instrumentation of the album. "Another Life" has lyrics that are an awesome combination of "Exile Verify" and "Lucky You" and has the vocals that sound like a combination of "Terrible Love" and "The Geese of Beverly Road," "There's A Glow" has lyrics that remind me of "90 Mile Water Walk" and vocals that remind of "Lit Up," "The Long Haul" has lyrics that remind me of "Cherry Tree," "Karen," and "Slipping Husband" and has vocals that remind of "About Today," and "Stay With Me" has lyrics that remind me of "Conversation 16" and "Cardinal Song" and has vocals that remind me of "You Were A Kindness." The album has the lyrics and the vocals that remind me of some of the National's best songs.

NO also has the openness of Sigur Ros and the atmospheric instrumentation of Radiohead. The instrumentation of "Another Life" kind of reminds me of a slowed down version of Radiohead's "Separator," the drums and guitar put you in a very laid back mood that make you feel like you are experiencing something transcendental instead of simply listening to another four minute song. The song also has the openness of a condensed version of "Festival," it is a song that can mean whatever you want it to mean, it is a song that you can run to or sleep to, and it is a song that is everything while being nothing at the same time. "There's A Glow" has the sound of something off on The Bends combined with the a sped up version of the closing moments of "Give Up The Ghost," it is a great pop song that is still relaxing and makes you feel like you are listening to something that is so beauatiful that it is degrading to just refer to it as a song. The song also has the openness of somethng like "All Allright," as it makes you feel a sad peace even in its most uplifting moments. The whole album seems to combine the instrumentation of Radiohead with the openness of Sigur Ros and the result is an album that can make you dance and make you think at the same time, an album that can make you sad even with its most uplifting moments, an album with a goal of making itself whatever you want it to be, and an album that just sounds like a clustermess of everything we have ever loved about music. It is an album that was always worth waiting for, but an album that is so open and brilliant that it probably gets more satisfaction out of waiting for you to discover it.

I had always thought I couldn't take the wait until I heard NO's Don't Worry You'll Be Here Forever. NO is a band that perfectly combines the lyrics and vocals of the National, the sound of Radiohead, and the openness of Sigur Ros. This album is essentially the perfect combination of three of my favorite bands: the lyrics have the blunt honesty and repetitiveness of The National, the music has the unique feel of some of the more uplifting Radiohead songs, and the album has the beauty of just about every Sigur Ros song. NO were successful at making me forget about having to wait for my favorite bands by creating an album that does a great job of combining all of their best qualities. And because of this they have created an album that is much more than a substitute for love. They have created an album that could end up being as special as some of the releases from my favorite bands. Now I just have to find a band that keeps me busy until the next NO album comes out......

1. Another Life
2. Theres A Glow
3. The Long Haul
4. Big Waves
5. Coming Down
6. Stay With Me