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Saturday, October 10, 2015

MxPx -- Life in General

 photo MxPx_-_Life_in_General_cover_zpsxed56drt.jpg

Look, I can go on and on about how awesome Life in General is. About how producer, Steve Kravac, pushed MxPx to their physical and artistic limits until they broke past them. About how Kravac's production allows Mike's singing and bass playing, Tom's guitar, and Yuri's drums each ample space in the mix, and how it is amazingly clear without ever sounding over-polished. I can tell you about how Mike Herrera, on the punk-rock spectrum, took a Beatles like two-year songwriting leap from Please Please Me to Rubber Soul, from Pokinatcha to Life in General. I can tell you about how I've listened to hundreds of punk rock albums, and none of them have satisfied my ears like this 1996 gem, except for maybe the one that MxPx released just two years after it. I can tell you about how Life in General immediately vaunted MxPx to mythic, legendary status, prepared the way for the enjoyable, but less enduring blink-182 to sell a billion records. I can tell you about how MxPx took a mid-90's skate-punk genre that should have only been a fad, and beginning with this album, used it to create something timeless. I can tell you about how I listened to my original copy of Life in General so many times, I wore the plastic off of the digital encoding. I can tell you about how Life in General in its entirety makes for a far greater soundtrack to 45-minutes of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater than the music provided on that game. I can tell you about how fun Life in General is, how simply listening to the album as an activity is fun, how even the most moribund drive, alone, or with others, can be resurrected by just one listen. I can tell you how MxPx make it seem like 17 songs should flow this smoothly on every album, how every album should flow this naturally. I can tell you all that stuff. I can also misuse the word "can."

1996 Tooth & Nail

1. Middlename 2:55
2. My Mom Still Cleans My Room 2:50
3. Do Your Feet Hurt 3:10
4. Sometimes You Have to Ask Yourself 2:19
5. The Wonder Years 1:51
6. Move to Bremerton 3:35
7. New York to Nowhere 2:16
8. Andrea 1:46
9. Your Problem, My Emergency 3:16
10. Chick Magnet 3:12
11. Today Is in My Way 3:06
12. Sorry So Sorry 2:14
13. Doing Time 1:23
14. Correct Me If I'm Wrong 2:33
15. Cristalena 2:01
16. Destroyed by You 2:33
17. Southbound 2:34

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