Feb 24, 2009

From The CD Shelf, Our Lady Peace - Spiritual Machines

I like so many things about listening to music. Aside from the sheer joy of listening to tunes I love, I revel in the feeling that a track or a whole album envelopes me in. Especially a tune or album that I haven't heard in quite a while. It really is a great feeling to queue up a song that takes you back to when you first heard the song, or maybe even the point in time you had that album constantly spinning.

So I decided to venture down the stairs to the living room and peruse my cd collection to see what tickled my fancy. My collection is getting quite large, stalled lately with my lack of a job, but there are many albums that haven't seen the inside of cd player for quite a while. My eye caught on "Spiritual Machines" by Our Lady Peace, as I've mentioned before, my favorite band. It was easy for my eye to catch on this one because OLP has their own little section that is separate from the rest of the alphabetized masterpiece that is my collection.

I wanted to get this one spinning more than any other album on my shelf because this album imparticular transports me back in time more than any other. Released in 2000, "Spiritual Machines" came out when I was a senior in high school. This is when I had finally started driving and I really started to develop my passion for music.

The album itself is a concept album based around the book "The Age of Spiritual Machines" by Ray Kurzweil. Between many of the tracks Ray quotes experts from his book. I don't think a lot of people really got the point, but really, I didn't need to, the music and everything with it just spoke to me. As I listen right now, the intro that leads into the song "Right Behind You (Mafia)" transports me directly behind the wheel of my mother's 1990 Pontiac 6000LE on one of my autopilot drives back home from school.

(You know what I mean about driving on autopilot, right? It's when you start driving and then basically blank out for a certain amount of time only to realize you're almost home and you don't remember a thing from the last couple of miles. I think that was what a combo of OLP and crappy high school did to me.)

The funniest part was that I couldn't even spin the album in my inherited car because it didn't even have a cd player, just an in-dash cassette player. I did the common thing back then to make my music portable; record my cd over to a cassette tape. I made many a blueberry raking mix for my Sony Walkman this way but this tape was strictly for OLP and my drives to and from school.

I was obsessed with the album that whole year. Out of their 6 studio albums to date, it was their least commercially successful album but it didn't matter to me. In fact, anyone who didn't like the album can bite me. From the first single "In Repair" to "Life", "Middle Of Yesterday", "Made To Heal", and "Everyone's A Junkie" (big green monkey everyone's a junkie), I was hooked. Of course, I'm biased, so I can't blame the critics, I guess. (Bite my tongue.)

I'm sure I was caught in my singing bubble more than once by passing drivers like I mentioned in my post "Cutting Back Costs In Hard Times By...Not Singing". But hey, if I looked like an idiot, I didn't care. This album was truly my age 17 anthem and it will always be remembered for that.

On top of all this, the summer of 2001, a couple of weeks before I graduated from high school I got to see OLP live in concert for the first time (I rummaged out the ticket and it's pictured on the right). This further cemented this album as a turning point in my musical maturation.

(I've seen OLP once more since then and can't wait for their new album "Burn Burn" to drop so I can hopefully see them again. Come to Kansas City OLP!)

As you can tell, there are a lot of memories associated with "Spiritual Machines" and close to every album on my shelf does the same thing. I'm sure to some extent there are tunes out there that do the same thing to you too. Feel free to comment with some songs that take you back in time.

I feel like I'm talking as if I'm much older than 25 and reminiscing about days long gone, maybe I've even over dramatizing it, but I won't be when I stick this album in 30 years from now and remember this all over again.

I just had to include the video for "In Repair" below. It really encompasses the whole concept of the album. Enjoy.

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