Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Old Music: Unabashedly Generic

Because it's been quite a while since my last New Old Music post, a brief recap is in order: When I moved to my new home over the summer, I decided to start listening to all the music CDs in my collection that had been sitting in a box for more than a decade without ever having been listened to. Yay recap.

By now I've listened to virtually everything (or as much of it as I can stand), so it's as good a time as any to continue my tales of this exfanding experience. This time I'll be discussing two of the most unabashedly generic albums in my collection.

Richard Marx - Paid Vacation (1994)

What I expected: Love songs. Soft, easy-listening love songs.

What I got: The forgotten soundtrack of a forgotten '80s movie.

What I think: Like Peter Cetera's previously discussed World Falling Down, probably not the kind of CD I'd keep in the car, but a song here and there on my computer playlist might be nice. I swear I've heard at least one of these songs on the radio before, but then again, most of the album gives me that feeling.

Cruel Shoes - Cruel Shoes Demo CD (1992)

My scanner isn't hooked up yet, and the CD cover doesn't appear to be anywhere on the Internet, but just imagine a black-and-white photo of a shoe fashioned out of recycled motorcycle parts, leaning against the top of a Corinthian column.

[EDIT FROM THE FUTURE: Hey, I got a scanner.]

What I expected: Angry, atonal, hard rock about horrible, horrible subjects.

What I got: The forgotten soundtrack of a forgotten '80s movie.

What I think: Whereas Paid Vacation is the unobtrusive kind of generic, sounding vaguely like other light rock songs I enjoy well enough, this demo CD manages to combine the singer's slightly rough voice with various instruments from synthesizers to saxophones in such a way that causes it to be gradually grating without any permanent damage. It's not particularly memorable, but each of the three songs is 5+ minutes in length, and that's just too long for me with this kind of music.

Two albums? That's it? Yes, unless you'd like more forgotten soundtracks of forgotten '80s movies. I think you get the idea here. Perhaps I'll have more to share with you next time, when I discuss the most unlistenable albums of them all. Get your earplugs ready.

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