Tuesday, November 16, 2010


 'Self Titled'
Koch Records, 2001.


Immediately after its release this album hit the nostalgia shelves. Its soft rock, dreamy quality and the break-up of the band made sure of this. Even when introducing this album I can say that if you haven't heard it before that there may not be any reason for listening to it. It is rock; not the crazy-lifestyle rock but the sappy, mellowish, wish-I-had-you-again rock. Of course, this is not always a bad thing - a lot of the time we're in those mellow moods and want something to complement them. Anything too loud is grating and anything too slow can bring an unwanted sense of melancholy. This is where Stabbing Westward come in. There is something uplifting about their sound that is perfect for the lying-on-your-bed method of listening to music. There are no ballads and no heavy tracks, everything here remains fairly constant which is often a bad thing (I like some experimentation and it can become tedious) but they play to their strength and it doesn't weary as the album is only a tad over 40 minutes long.

What does bring the album down is its generalness - there is nothing outstanding here, and this is where the nostalgic emotions charge the music with that 'something' it was missing. The song 'Television' is a throwaway but all others are worth the listen, namely 'Perfect', 'I Remember', 'Happy' and 'Angel'. In fact I could have just written all the tracks from the album and you could imagine how it sounds. For me, 'Happy' now has that added bonus of getting stuck in my head every time someone emphasises the word 'happy' in a sentence. It can be listening to these little things that bring the album up, but it is its lack of excitement and sappiness that also brings it down. If you can't 'feel' this album then you will likely cringe at it.

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