Apparently listening to albums is a dying thing, people don’t do it so much anymore. It’s all about the quick gratification of a top single, something to do with people having no concentration anymore.
But I know some albums so well that whilst I couldn’t tell you what I had for lunch yesterday I could tell you what track follows what on a release I haven’t heard for years – in fact sometimes there are songs that sound strange when their fading notes aren’t immediately followed by the next song on the album. So I love listening to albums and one thing that really gets me going is a great album opener, one that leaves you thinking “I’m going to enjoy this” and hoping that everything else can live up to it. Sometimes it doesn’t hit right the rest of the way through and the start is the strongest bit, but when it’s ALL right it’s brilliant, and there’s not many listening experiences as good as a strong opener on a familiar album.
Which is where this the opening track to Youth & Young Manhood comes in. It’s an album I love, it sounds gritty and unpolished and kind of proper – no overly polished studio edges, no playing around with lots of noises and effects. Just guitars, drums and some gruff vocals.
When the track kicks in you can just picture the band performing it live, in a bar or somewhere similar – the kind of place they stereotypically have in US movies like The Dukes of Hazzard.
The straight guitar opening, the first lines : “You know you could’ve been a wonder”, the drums kick in – this track always peaks my interest and sets up the rest of the album for a great listen. Straight forward and enjoyable.