Big Shiny Tunes 7

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I honestly had fun doing my BST 6 & 5 write ups. They put me in touch with some songs that i had long forgotten from my youth, and despite my mixed feelings about my days in Junior High they brought an undeniable sense of nostalgia in me while i was listening to them.

So i figured it would be fun to do the last Big Shiny Tunes that was released during my early adolescence.

So let’s dive straight in!

 

THE TRACKS

If someone put a gun in my mouth and told me to point to my pick for best Nickleback song, Too Bad would probably be the one i would single out. As it’s not as bitter as something like This is How you Remind Me, not as chauvinistic as Never Again, and it’s music video always got to me as a kid (daddy issues and all that) and still does. Honestly a photo finisher would have to be their new song Feed the Machine which is honestly is pretty okay, with a decent opening riff that’s heavier than anything i’ve ever heard them play.

There’s that bit in The Simpsons where Bart tells Lisa how easy it was to make teenagers depressed:

 

i didn’t understand that in the mid 90’s when that aired but fast forward to 2002 and songs like Youth of the Nation did exactly what Smashing Pumpkins did to teenagers half a decade before. All in all, i can’t say that i like it very much anymore.

BST 7’s opening is rather muted compared to 5’s, and Staind’s It’s Been Awhile certainly caps off the album’s dreary opening rather well. Released during Nu-Metal’s commercial cresting in 2002, it’s absolutely overwrought and cliche, but i think it’s one of the better songs the genre produced; as it genuinely seems sincere, and i’ll admit to it being a guilty pleasure from time to time. That can’t be said for Puddle of Mudd’s Drift & Die which apes Kurt Cobain’s sound with none of his humour or lyrical depth and is incredibly generic and forgettable.

Nothing Could Come Between Us, is one of the many, many, sound alike songs released during post-grunge’s heyday; it’s interchangeable on this album with Nickelback’s, Staind’s, and Puddle of Mudds’ entries and does little to distinguish itself from Default’s previous efforts on BST6. I didn’t much like it back then and time has done nothing to change my mind.

Opening the middle part of the album is Sam Robert’s break out single Brother Down, and it’s a breath of fresh air to the dimness of the opening tracks. I must be note that BST 7’s sequencing is a lot smoother than 6’s was, with less jarring shifts in tone helping the tracks ease into one another. Brother Down flows smoothly from the opening tracks and compliments the somberness with a bit of needed contemplation; and it’s brighter tone helps ease me into Coldplay’s bright chords of In My Place better than Nothing Could Come Between Us ever could.

Weapon was the first single Matt Good released after he dropped all pretenses of being in a band and went solo; and it’s pretty weak. With an overlong and boring 2 minute introduction that the following breakdown barely manages to break out of, and a generic feeling overall. Load Me Up, Hello Time Bomb, and even The Future is X Rated stay longer than this entry. Thankfully Jimmy Eat World’s penchant for creating massively catchy hooks comes roaring in with Sweetness, that i wish was played on the radio more than In the Middle.

The sequencer tries to keep the energy high by placing Not by Choice’s Standing All Alone, a song whose existence had completely left my mind. It certainly succeeds but there’s a reason i had completely forgotten about the song, especially when sandwiched between Sweetness and In Too Deep whose current radio presence makes Not By Choice’s entry a poster boy for one hit wonders.

Mediocrity strikes again with New Found Glory’s My Friends Over You, and to be honest i bought the album Sticks and Stones likely for this song. It’s telling that i never listened (and still haven’t) to the album in the 15 years that i’ve owned it; as it is pop-punk banality at its absolute finest. Weezer’s Dope Nose caps off BST 7’s alt-rock phase with its fist shaking power chords, and honestly Weezer had a lot better power chord anthems than Dope Nose.

Hero is a relic from the bygone days of blockbuster movies releasing with a chart topping promotional song, and while the tradition has gone on this is the last high profile song that i can remember breaking into the mainstream; and considering Spiderman 2 didn’t have an accompanying soundtrack with it, it may very well be one of the last of its kind. As for the song itself It’s not bad per se, but it’s just another in a long line of sound alikes to go with Theory of a Deadman (in fact the singer from TOADM wrote the song) and as a matter a fact the entire opening of this album.

Thankfully Danko Jones’ crunchy and raunchy Lovercall slides into the album to push back the torrent of mediocrity with a song in the classic tradition of rock & roll: sex. However leave it to The Vines to ruin it with Get Free, i’ll be brutally honest: I fucking hated the Vines when i first heard them, and i fucking hate them now.

I think that music video that has that guy hitting himself in the face with a shoe is a perfect summation of their sound, as it distills the worst of the Beastie Boys’ obnoxious party anthems with none of their irony:

 

 

Ya. Fuck that shit.

Oh Jesus, talk about embarrassing moments from childhood; i remember rocking the fuck out to Papa Roach’s She Loves Me Not and Last Resort back in the day. Now i can’t stop laughing, especially when the rapping starts during the bridge; it’s Nu-Metal tough guy posturing and angsty wrist slitting at its absolute finest. I gotta hand it to Papa Roach though, they’re still making albums 20 years after they debuted! With bizarre giveaways at that.

Filter close out Big Shiny Tunes 7 with the superb wall of sound attack of Where Do We Go From Here?, which as i said earlier brings their pop rock sensibilities from Take a Picture to their absolute zenith; and it certainly helps the album go down much easier.

 

THE SUM UP

Overall Big Shiny Tunes 7 is better sequenced and smoother than 6 ever was, however it does come with the weight of a very heavy and dreary Post-Grunge opening salvo that didn’t really gel very well with my older self. It also has the most tracks in it that i had forgotten about in comparison to 5 & 6; and that isn’t necessarily a good thing, as there’s a reason i forgot about Drift & Die, She Loves Me Not, and Get Free among others.

However there are still some early 2000’s gems here: In My Place and Sweetness are songs that i’m glad i rediscovered here.

And just like with the previous collections, BST 7 serves as the soundtrack to my Junior High years and with that my young adolescence. It’s nice looking back from time to time, which is what these collections do best.

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