If I’m being honest, I took a lot more notes about the album as I was listening and have been mentally cataloguing thoughts I want to capture for weeks. But it’s almost 10:30pm now and on the first day I almost missed my own goal. I’m feeling bad about it; I want to get this done on time but I know this first entry should be a captivating start that makes everyone nod their head and say, “You can even tell by the first entry that they really were onto something here.”
This is how I’m starting, delayed, with trepidation and listening to “Zero” by Melt-Banana on a loop so I can feel half pumped.
Last night was New Year’s Eve and when 2021 was an hour or so old, I checked my Apple Music for what to put on. “They” (programmers work in teams?) recommended I listen to Random Access Memories. It was the first suggestion in a section called “Dance.” So instead of sitting down and having an immersive first listen to start off this project, I played RAM while get beat at Carcassonne by my partner, putting some of the many dirty dishes away, and getting into the tub to soak out the day (it was 2:30 in the morning). My partner has speakers installed all throughout the house, which let me move room to room and continuously hear the album. Before we started dating, he told me when he was building the house he was thinking of me being in it.
The sound quality of Random Access Memories is slick. This was the first thing I noticed as “Give Life Back to Music” started. The drums especially. Listening to it gave me a similar feeling to watching pornography. Audre Lorde wrote, “Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling.” The reputation of the album as a masterpiece of sound production is perhaps the most prevalent narrative around it in music communities. All of the instruments are evenly lit, dry when they should be and moist when it’s time for things to get hot. You know what I’m saying, the drums were like a waxed vulva.
By listening to the album casually I was not able to access intricate observations on the record but I was now more attuned to my immediate emotional reaction and I could tell it was mediocre as shit. “Fragments of Time” still remains the best track. I can’t really rate “Doin’ it Right” because listening to it places me in a bucket.