a brief “Departure” from reality

Up until today, I’d been having an off week…

It’s complicated. But it has to do with the election.
I’m on the winning side, but it sure doesn’t feel like it with so much out-spoken negativity about it. Beyond that I really don’t want to go into more detail.

The other day I also ran through an entire Prince double-album like I was running a marathon and I really didn’t enjoy myself as much as I should have. Maybe I just forgot the reason I was listening to his music in the first place. And also I think it’s because I heard disc I the other week and it wasn’t as exciting to do it again so soon. It’s been weird with my music lately. I have CD’s in my car, but I don’t like to listen to them as much as I used to. Like I’d do an album a couple times a week. Now I’m barely doing the same album every week.

The point of that rant: I usually pick whatever I’m going to listen to when I wake up. If a song is playing in my head or I’m in a certain mood, I make my choice based on that.

I’d been thinking about listening this album for a while, but I couldn’t quite get up the courage to do it. Until finally today I didn’t really have anything I was in the mood for.

I’ve written in the past how I’ve had trouble with this particular Jesse McCartney album. But I thought this was another good memory I needed to log down for my own recollection.

This album came out in 2008- a year after I started on this journey with Prince.
And it felt like in that time, Jesse completely changed without me noticing.
Now that I’ve had a lot of time for it to sink in and his latest album (although it’s hard to call a 2-year old “In Technicolor” a latest album) to consider- it’s not nearly as drastic a departure. If anything, this was a work in progress of a new direction.

The negatives first:
we didn’t get off on the best note with “Leavin'”- which was the lead single of the album when it was first released.
I just wasn’t feeling it. Some lyrics just don’t work for a white R&B artist. I know he didn’t co-write this one, but it sounded like he was trying to be something he wasn’t. Maybe with less sling, I’d like it more.

“It’s Over”
I think this song had been popping in and out of my mind for the past couple weeks. The music really helps set the scene. It’s very dark and sad. Like I picture deserted streets and alleyways.
And the lyrics came back to me as easy as if I heard them just the other day.

I guess something’s special about Jesse. I just click with his music so well that it’s like nothing’s changed between us. As if we were ever really together.

speaking of which…

“How do you sleep”- oh how I remember hearing that synth line for the first time. It was playing out a commercial when Jesse was on GMA promoting this album. I knew right away I liked it and couldn’t wait to hear the song it belonged to.
The lyrics of this song are so sad, but something about the synth line just made me happy. Maybe it was me feeling like I was reuniting with an old friend. Like I was home. All kinds of feelings I shouldn’t be having during a song where he’s lamenting about a lost love that can’t be regained.

Then things, per the usual, kinda take a downturn.

“Into Ya”… :groan: maybe it’s because I just listened to him a couple days ago, but this song feels like it’d be better sung by someone like The Weeknd.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m uncomfortable with Jesse singing with that degree with sexuality. But something about the music feels better suited to a black R&B artist. Probably the chorus- it’s too simple and upfront.

“Makeup”… I mean, it’s great accelerating when the music builds up to the chorus. But beyond that, I don’t know what to do with it. Of course I still listen to it, but I’m not a big fan. It’s so different from all his other music.

Then we get to the second half of the album and it all worked out for the best.

“My Baby”- I hate the high falsetto on the chorus.
But I love the story it paints. It was the first of a couple instances where I thought some of these songs would fit in the context of my story.
It’s a boy-meets-girl moment. The song is 3 minutes or so, I’m guessing, and it tells about a scene that would take all of maybe 2 minutes of screen time in a movie.
It fits my story perfectly except for the final line of lyrics where they leave together.
My girl doesn’t leave with the guy the night she meets him. They perform together and she leaves him in the dust. She’s not exactly into the idea of a relationship.

“Told you So”- I love that Linn-drum. That was the first thing that attracted me to the song when I first heard it. About a girl that leaves him and is now wanting to come back and he’s refusing to take her back.

“Relapse”- guilty pleasure. Kinda like the storyline where he’s constantly coming back to a girl who’s nothing but trouble, but can’t help himself.

“Running Away”- I was dreading listening to because I’m not as a big fan. The way the chorus is lining out- it’s just too chaotic. And some of the lyric writing- it’s just weak.
then I listened and thought that it has a similar them to “All about Us”. I just don’t know where I’d put it in the playlist. If it’d work before or after it if they were part of the same storyline. It’s about being in a good relationship but being afraid to make a full-time commitment.

“Freaky”- more weak lyric writing. I also hate the back-up vocals on it. They’re very distracting.
“Punch Drunk Recreation” serves the same purpose on the other album, but it does it so much better. It also puts together more of a storyline.

“Not your enemy”
wow… every time this comes on, there’s a powerful moment and I always look forward to it.
I thought about my story again and how my protagonist was hurt by the men in her life and her love interest is trying to convince her to give him a chance.
I just don’t know, if I were sequencing it into the story, where I’d put it. Would I put it towards the end when they get back together? Or do I put it before they get together the first time?

I also thought about “The Other Guy” on the other album.
Jesse seems to like ending his albums with ballads with strings, piano and powerful vocals. Two completely different songs, but both are great at what they do.

This one… omg… it’s probably one of my favorite songs he’d done. I can’t play it too often or the feeling will be lost.
I’m always going to remember it as the thing that saved this album for me the first time. I just needed one song to make me feel something good- something that will make me give this album another chance.

Best of all- this time around, this album just took me away from everything that was bringing me down. And that’s one of the reasons I love music as much as I do. That great escape.

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