Today, I've come to the conclusion that I'm old. I have lived more years since the release of this album than I was alive when this came out. Yikes.
It’s been more than a quarter of a century since I first heard of The Judybats. It was a couple of years after that when I finally realized how much I liked them. The road to becoming a fan of the band started with 120 Minutes on MTv in 1993 when they used to focus on music. I do remember those days. Still, to really see the music videos of bands that I liked I had to wait until midnight on Sundays, when they had a little 2 hour time slot. Dave Kendall and Lewis Largent were the VJ’s during the time I watched the show and I could count on them to introduce me to some great bands.
One of the videos Largent introduced me to in 93 was “Being Simple” by The Judybats. I watched this video wondering where I had been the last few years and why hadn’t I let myself really listen to them before. Again, it was the lyrics that stood out to me. Both funny and poignant and sung with voice that could be as strong or delicate as needed.
As I go through these albums it has become clear to me that, above all, it’s the words that mean more to me. I love music. Period. Make no mistake about that. I appreciate what musicians do with instruments because I know that I don’t have the capacity to do what they do. However, when it comes to what stands out most, it’s not usually a beat or rhythm it is the words. I love words, I love clever ways to use words, I love stories told in song. It can be humorous, sad, poignant, clever and unique, happy and upbeat, I am a fan of words used well (even if I can’t completely do that myself). In the end, if I find the words to a song terrible, stupid, or inane then that kills the song for me, no matter how many people like it because they can dance to it.
So there I found myself in 1993, being amused and touched by a song I heard on MTv’s 120 Minutes. Yes, I went out and got it and I played it on heavy rotation all the way through, again and again.
All Day Afternoon - I just told you about my love of words and lyrics, blah, blah, blah. Aaaaaaaaaaaand here is where I explain my hypocrisy. Throughout this album I got the words wrong all over the place and it starts with the very first song. . The best part is that I've just figured that out and the words were in the CD cover foldout. I did read them back then but I still remember my misconstrued lyrics better than the real lyrics. When I put the cd in the first time it was hard not to forward to the third track. Luckily I didn't. This became one of my favourites.
Ugly On The Outside – As I said, I have an appreciation for clever. I like the fact that this is a love song of sorts about his significant other being beautiful only on the inside and ugly on the outside. To the point of hiding him/her from being seen in public together. It doesn't come across to me as mean spirited, just telling the facts. But it causes a chuckle when he says “your so pure, pretty on the inside, some fright; your ugly on the outside.” Ahhhh, love is grand.
Being Simple – This was it for me. I think it was the the first line that sucked me in and held me: “Hearts can not be broken, they're small squishy things”. Another non traditional love song but at least a little kinder than telling someone they're ugly.
An Intense Beige – I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Is it a love song? Maybe? Is it about loving somebody that's kind of fake? Maybe? Like I said, I really don't know but I like it, especially the tempo changes mid song.
Geography – A song that I've always appreciated. The words always got me on this song. A fun one to sing in the car, but it also had one of my favourite lines: “They don't tell me nothing I ain't already heard before or better said.”
Wasting Time – This song is on the CD / mixtape of my life. The one that you mentally create that has all the tracks that describe your inner you or your life. This is my absolute favourite song by The Judybats. I loved singing it alone in the car, listening to it on the train. Whatever I did. It is still on just about every playlist I make. Flawless.
Incredible Bittersweet - It's song like Incredible Bittersweet that are the reason to listen to the words. It's easy to gloss over words to songs for some people, I'm glad when a song uses language in a way to make you think. Where you have to listen more than once to get everything, like a good movie will do.
Scarlett – This is a song that I can appreciate more now than at 22. This song is about love and it's many sides. “Love is Scarlett down the stairs, pushed or fallen, fallen or shoved, Arching in the air, promised or poisoned, but always loved.” It's not even because I share this view of love but at 44, I can see it as an unfortunate point of view. But it's not just the words I appreciate more now. I find myself enjoying how the song is moved along by a great bass line.
Trip Me Up – Well worded. I could have let this song been part of the CD of my life, I guess but I think I'd rather choose the less bleak “Wasting Time”, similar themes but different tone. It's still a song that's worth your effort to really listen to.
La Dulcinea – “We don't all have vision, but some of us can see”. Enough said. One of my favourites off this CD.
My Dead Friend – one of my favourites to listen to by the band. I'm glad that it's a song that I can't relate to. Give it a listen and you’ll see what I mean.
Pain (makes you beautiful) – One of my all-time favourite titles. The best part about this song is that never thought of this song as anything but metaphorical. At 22, I wasn't thinking about BDSM. I never even considered that this song was about physical pain at all. It was always about mental and emotional pain making someone attractive to someone else who was also in that same state of mind. It seems more ridiculous listening to it now that I read that into it instead of what it's obviously about. But if I'm being honest I prefer my method of reading way too much into it. Either way, it's undeniably a great song and a great way to end an album.