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Old 06-11-2018, 13:20
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Desire on its knees
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cambridge
Age: 38
Posts: 861
ah, this gives me the chance to air a revelation i had about this album over the recent few years...

some background:

got into the band via ADFL at 15/16 years old, and very quickly fell into the whole 'mess of eyeliner and spray paint' side of the band working back from there. despite that, 16 year old me appreciated that EMG was a necessary shift from the events preceding it, but there was still enough there for me to get my angsty adolescent teeth into.

two years later - now 17, at college - Tolerate is announced. my little group of like-minded fans start to get very excited - "it's a full album written by Nicky, it's bound to be all glitter and feather boas, anger and glam rock!" "the lead single's called If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, for heaven's sake, it's gonna sound like Revol or something!"

then we actually hear Tolerate. it's not (obviously) angry. or glittery. or glam rock. it is, to this 17 year old's ears... a bit dull.

building up to the album release, we're still doing all the usual obsessed fan stuff around it... we got into the Radio 1 Cooper's Field thing, we were at the midnight launch in Cardiff that night, went to the Bridlington gig the week of my 18th birthday (my then girlfriend fought tooth and nail to secure JDB's setlist from the night - it's on my wall to this day).

but - my truth is - the album left us cold.

there were highlights that bubbled to the surface over the following weeks - Born A Girl, Tender & Tired, Nobody Loved You - but everything else was either too ploddy and pedestrian (I'm Not Working, My Little Empire, etc), or too overplayed and radio friendly (You Stole The Sun, Everlasting).

it was not an album for an 18 year old who was currently weighing up Idlewild's debut as their album of 1998. we very quickly (arrogantly) decreed it was an album for the 30-something, company car driving, 2.4 kid middle managers of the land - the Mondeo men, as was the common parlance at the time.

it became buried, disowned; we were apologetic for its very existence when the topic of music, bands and favourites came up, especially as we moved on up into Uni life.

for some, it was too much - the glitter, feather boas and glam faded to an embarrassment of their pre-Uni youth.

for me, personally, they were somewhat redeemed with Masses Against The Classes (cue me running from room to room in our student flat - "this! this is what they should sound like!"), then back on (some form of alternative) track when KYE spluttered along a year or so later.

the whole Truth period remained the dip in their catalogue for me. bar the few exceptions above, plus a handful of bsides / remixes / oddities from the era, every cd burnt and playlist made pretty much skipped straight from EMG into KYE. You Stole The Sun, Tolerate, Tsunami became the designated toilet breaks for gigs. Truth was resolutely at the bottom of my "rate the albums" lists, where it would stay forever.

but...

20 years later, guess who's now the 30-something, company car driving, 2.4 kid middle manager? and guess who now has a ticket to see Truth performed in its entirety - and is actually looking forward to it*?

while still not as excessive as other eras, the Truth playlist has been expanded to a solid 18 tracks; i've enjoyed the exposure and re-evaluation Tolerate's had of late... i now even get a little shiver if i hear it on the radio or out and about somewhere.

if there's a moral to this story, it'd be something about the arrogance of youth, the inevitability of aging and softening of tastes - all things that, on review, are actually covered throughout Truth.

bravo, Nicky, bravo.

*apart from You Stole The Sun. seriously, fuck that song.
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