The Wrens – The Meadowlands
Absolutely Kosher, 2003
Acquired: Christmas Gift, New, 2006
I've never listened to this record while I was in a happy, stable relationship. I listened to it the other day, on Jenny and I's one year anniversary and it sounded so foreign to me. I listened to it probably 100 times during 2008 but since then, bunco. Shit, I even saw the Wrens play this year at SXSW and I still didn't listen to this when I got home. Although, I will say, those guys rock out harder than bands half their age. Kevin Whelan jumped off of a five foot tall amp! It was nuts! But anyway, this is one of my ultimate break-up records. One that gets everything right and captures exactly what it feels like to get your heart broken and one that makes you realize how much it fucking sucks and naturally, the futility of it all. Just listen to “She Sends Kisses,” the sad sordid history of the relationship in question. This won't be a very effective critique of the record because it's like a drinking buddy at this point. I mean, I long to write a song as sharp as “Ex-Girl Collection,” which would easily find its way into my top 10 of the 00s. “Is this how men mark time?/ In relationships?” Um, yes sir, it is. The second side of disc 2 has a handful of b-sides that are a little hit or miss, if only because they don't really sound thematically or sonically linked to the preceding album. They're good, but I wish they'd put the precursor to “Boys You Won't,” the awesome “Miss Me,” on there too. I wrote a very similar paragraph about this on my best of the decade list, which had the Meadowlands coming in at #4 and really, I always say the same things. I unabashedly love this record.
Here's a photo of the Wrens I snapped at SXSW:
LOOK HOW HIGH KEVIN IS! LOOK!
AND, awesome video for "Everyone Chooses Sides"