ISLANDS – RETURN TO THE SEA
But this record!
You know how sometimes you can know what’s good for someone else even if it’s not your thing? I lived with this girl, Penny, in college, and she would get upset with me because I would recommend albums for her all the time. I’m pretty eclectic. I will listen to just about anything. I’m not a music snob; I am a music lover. So sometimes I would hear a band and think to myself, “Boy, Penny would like that!” And every time I suggested an album to her, she would get upset and ask me why I didn’t want it. She thought I was making fun of her taste or suggesting bad music. I don’t really know why she got upset. I think it’s nice when someone understands your taste and can let you know about things you might like. She was so mad when I suggested she buy Metric’s debut album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, like I was passing judgement on her. She bought it anyway and it was her favorite album of the summer of 2004. And truth be told, I love that album! But, I also knew she would love it.
Return to the Sea was not an album I recommended to Penny. I did recommend The Unicorns, which was the band the members of Islands were in previously. Of course, Penny got angry and then loved them anyway. This record takes me back to this sort of contentious relationship. You know how sometimes a person you dislike can embody a song so much you can’t listen to it anymore? Penny did that to music. When she liked something, she played it over and over, and I can’t disassociate her from the music of that year. It took me a while to listen to Metric again. But I was never able to again fall in love with the quirky musings of the Canadians in Islands. I always think of her, and I don’t wish to.
Return to the Sea actually reminds me of the Olivia Tremor Control album I sold earlier this month. It’s well-crafted, weird indie rock. Listening to it feels like riding a locomotive in a live action water color painting. It chugs along and makes you smile. The first three songs on the album, Swans (Life After Death), Humans, and Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby are still great songs. Really great songs! Listening now makes me think that maybe I should keep it. Maybe this is one of the few I should keep. But I haven’t listened to this record in at least 5 years. I think it needs a new home. And since this album is from a limited pressing of 500, is out of print, and is a double LP on white vinyl, I know it’s going to find a place in a very happy collector’s home.
Goodbye, Return to the Sea.