We all have our little rules we have taught ourselves to follow. When it comes to music, one of mine is NEVER write off an album the first time you listen to it. It hasn't always been that way though.
I still can't believe that I didn't like “Infected" the first time I listened to it. I remember one of the store clerks at Harmony House had recommended it to me when it first came out. My first impression without even listening to it was thinking The The was an oddly cool name, and I loved the album's cover artwork. The staff at Harmony House knew me pretty well (imagine that) so I figured the album was a safe bet, even if I had never heard of The The at that point. I'm always excited to pick up new music so the first thing I did when I got home was cue it up. I really didn't care for it. It was one of the few times those record store clerks steered me wrong…or so I thought.
I shelved “Infected” figuring I'll trade it in at Car City Records and get something good sometime down the road. The album ended up getting lost and forgotten in my collection. Months later, maybe it was even more than a year, I was in the mood for something I hadn't heard in a while, only I didn't know exactly what. When I sifted through my collection and got to the “T”s, there was The The. "Didn't I get rid of that album? I guess not. I love the cover artwork. What the hell, I haven't found anything I'm in the mood for yet, so let’s give this one another try." To this day, I can't help but wonder “WTF I didn't hear the first time I listened to "Infected". The music was amazing. A high energy mix of rock, pop, and alternative, with a bit of techno and jazz flourishes. And then there were Matt Johnson's lyrics. His words gave a sociopolitical lashing to the often cold and uncaring nature of the human jungle. "Infected" instantly became one of my all time favorite albums. From that point forward, I always give albums a second chance, even if it means shelving them and forgetting about them for a while.
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