Now Listen Again
You’ve heard the song over a hundreds times, let it pass by as you play through the entire album. The track sits in its spot, you know its name, you even know most of the words, but it’s not one of your favourites. It doesn’t get played on its own, or on repeat like others on the album may. It happens. Sometimes you extract specific songs from an album and never even play the others. This is also common. There’s literally no possible way you could listen to every song on the planet before you die so why waste your time with songs you don’t enjoy?
Now every once in a while something else does happen. You listen to an album you used to listen to back in the day. You’re struck with similar emotions and memories of youth. Then all of a sudden that song is played. The forgotten one, the one that meant nothing, the one that even used to get skipped occasionally. It’s different, its looked at in a whole new light, and it sounds freaking rad. After the song ends you play it again, and you play it louder. Wow, where did this come from? How did I not hear the message here the first time around?
This exact moment happened to me this year. I popped in an old CD I had from high school: Story of the Year’s In the Wake of Determination. Sometimes it’s beneficial having a car that can only play CDs. I’m not a big radio guy, so it’s AUX, Bluetooth, or CDs. (Dependent on the car).
Radio waves still transmit the same
Replica that wreaks of staleness and decay
The song that I experienced in a whole new light was Stereo.
The whole album is a great one to listen to and I used to call others my favourites. With Stereo, I’ve let it pass by, played it a hundred times, even knew all the words and what the song was about. This summer it played with more aggression, more power, it meant more.
From the intro of the duelling guitar harmonies, the song builds. Drums are introduced and then the vocals follow suit. Talking about how we’re all trained to follow specific patterns and structure to music. That the radio is filled with specifically tailored songs to be pushed into our eardrums over and over again.
Hear the world that you’ve created
Fall to pieces
We’re all bought and sold
This song ironically follows a basic pattern but this is where things are changed up in the song, maybe to bring more meaning to what they’re saying about structure in music. The guitar chords are chunkier and palm muted differently. The screaming takes a different melody than the first verse as well. Then out of nowhere a new guitar riff is added into the mix during the vocals “Unless we resist” that literally gives me goosebumps each time I hear it now. Such a good addition the verse, this and another part I’ll be talking about next is what had me repeating the song over and over this summer. They also introduced an interesting effect in the pause before the chorus.
However, the biggest thing I took away from listening to this song after so long was Story of Year was really hitting it hard with this album. They were doing stuff that I look at in songs now and really enjoy, but back then in 2005. And I just never listened closely enough.
We’ve all been bought and sold
That’s it right there. The breakdown. I’m sure someone else was doing in 2005, but I thought I wasn’t really introduced to the concept of a chunky metal type breakdown until later in life. A Day To Remember was ’08, Four Year Strong was ’07. So they were either near the forefront of putting a breakdown into a more or less Pop/Punk/Metal type album or they were standing alongside others. Either way, when listening to this song after so many years it caught me off guard, and I really enjoyed how they have that in this song. Not only that but they modify and speed up the breakdown to end off the track. So good.
I can just remember listening to it and being completely caught of guard. I knew it was coming up, and knew the words, but didn’t know what it would mean to me this time around.