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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

MxPx -- Let's Rock

 photo 220px-MxPx_-_Lets_Rock_cover_zpsjmwhah55.jpg

Let's Rock hit music store shelves two months before I got married. I remember passing a new copy in FYE, reading the title, and thinking Let's Not. At that point in my life, I found myself not only jaded by MxPx's last few releases, but a bit lost in my romantic relationship, and without an identity. At that point in time, MxPx was no longer my band. But then, the next year, I remembered that I am The Nicsperiment, an independent unit united to another independent unit, with my own tastes and interests, and I actually hate Grey's Anatomy and Sex In the City, and I love MxPx and football. Coming back to myself was a great feeling, and it benefited my marriage, as well (after all, my wife fell in love with "me," not "us"). Anyway, a long while after Let's Rock was released, I purchased it used from that same FYE at a bargain price.
I've been trying to figure out what to call that feeling conjured by the last few songs on MxPx's best albums of the 90's. I think I've finally got it, and understand what function those tracks serve: they are "sober up songs." I don't necessarily mean, like, sobering up from alcohol, just sobering up in life in general. Let's Rock is not a traditional MxPx punk record, nor is it of the Before Everything and After cheesy emo ilk. It's like an album full of "sober up" songs. That doesn't mean the album isn't fun, though. It is. I don't mean sobering as a downer. Let's Rock is just a really calming, chill album, with a great flow, and a relaxed feel. It may not be punk rock, but it does rock the boat of "MxPx can only do this (this being the thing you think they should do)." If you go into Let's Rock wanting "full-speed ahead" MxPx, you'll be gravely disappointed (what does "gravely disappointed", you'll be so disappointed, you'll die?) If you go into Let's Rock wanting emo "I love girls and girls make me sad (BEAA-era)" MxPx you're going to there another kind of disappointed beside gravely? I mean, it isn't really that serious. But if you want either one of those versions of MxPx, you'll be disappointed. Instead, here is something completely different: a reflective, relaxed MxPx. For proof, here's the opening track, "You Walk, I Run."

I should also mention I'm a sucker for reprises. Nothing screams, "You're listening to an album and not lame singles on a lame radio station" like a reprise. "You Walk, I Run" reprises acoustically as Let's Rock's closer. It's a complete listen.

2006 SideOneDummy
1. You Walk, I Run 2:45
2. Every Light 2:46
3. 1 and 3 3:19
4. Don't Forget Me (When You're Gone) 3:12
5. Breathe Deep 2:27
6. Make Up Your Mind 1:47
7. Running Out of Time 3:53
8. Slow Ride 2:34
9. Where Did You Go? 3:15
10. Sweet Sweet Thing (Acoustic) 2:49
11. Last Train (Acoustic) 2:44
12. You Walk, I Run (Acoustic) 2:37

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