A few weeks back I stumbled on a track called “Nothing More to Say” by a band called The Frightnrs. One of my favourite DJs added it to his essential listening list and it immediately caught my attention. If you regularly read these rambling Discuss pieces, you’ve probably already predicted what I did next; dear reader, having never heard of them, I looked them up.
The story of The Frightnrs is a sad one. I read this NPR article with their album on in the background. As I read, the music touched me more. It is undoubtedly an accomplished piece of work; lyrically, musically and vocally. It’s reminiscent of classic, smooth 70s reggae – straight out of New York. Even the album artwork has the style of that era. I listened to the album a few times and although it’s by no means a classic, it’s certainly lovely.
However – and here’s the “discuss” bit – I wonder whether I’d think of it as fondly had it been produced in straightforward and more happy circumstances. The story makes it a remarkable and poignant piece of work, without it, the album is good and would have held my attention for a while, but perhaps no more than that. Does this make me a bit of a hypocrite?
Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue. What do you know about all of this? Are average albums made better because of a sad back story, or does the back story make the album a much better piece of work?
While you think about it, here’s my favourite song from The Frightnrs album.