by Alex Monzel
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Music Band’s most recent album, Wake Up Laughing. But, there is also nothing right with it either. Between the forgettable lyrics, the mediocre instrumentation, and the standard production value, this album takes no risks whatsoever. Even their band name is completely risk free. Music Band? Really? It’s like they’re putting so much effort into putting in absolutely no effort.
This is one of the most frustrating kinds of albums because there’s nothing to praise or complain about (so all I can really complain about is how there is nothing to complain about). The tracks on this album range from alright to pretty good. Lacking a single memorable riff, chord progression, or hook, this album remains completely forgettable. There is a single outlier, however: the lyric, “I wonder which of my friends will die next,” from “Keep Living.” I hadn’t realized that I’d spaced out for the last few tracks until that caught my attention again. I only wish it drew me back in for something besides more of the same sound, but no such luck.
This album is bread and water. It’s sustenance, sure, but like food, music can be so much more. With so many genres, instruments, sounds, styles, etc. music is a powerful force. Music is as much art as painting or poetry, but this album is not music. It’s just melodic sound. It’s bland, emotionless pop music disguising itself as indie rock. It’s background music. It’s what you put on when you’re in a room full of people with differing music tastes so you don’t upset anyone.
It’s true, originality is all but extinct, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. We shouldn’t resign ourselves to shooting for the middle because we fear failure. Take a chance once in awhile. If you succeed, that’s great! And if you fail, at least you get a good story out of it.