OK. You’re 18 years old, first year at university. You find yourself wise and think you’ll change the world. You have only the future before you, and the future will bring you many things – or better: you’ll force the future to bring you them. I thought my friendships would last forever, my love – if the one and only appeared – would be eternal, my studies lead to more wisdom than I already carried in myself. Furthermore, I thought I would become the poet of my generation, I thought I was good at singing and was the only one feeling the world so deeply. Well… not everything came through (the singing sank away, the poet’s dreams found other ways of expression, I did not change the world yet).
But yes, I learned interesting things at university and would not want to miss it. And, at least some of my friendships still last – so does the one with my good friend who brought this stellar album by The The under my attention. Oh my, what a blast. Suddenly someone came around singing lines like
“In our lives we hunger for those we cannot touch
All the thoughts unuttered and all the feelings unexpressed
Play upon our hearts like the mist upon our breath”
“The more I see
The less I know
About all the things I thought were wrong or right
And carved in stone”
and all this with a sense of self-relativation, sustained by the passionate voice of Matt Johnson and the jangling guitar of Johnny Marr.
Even on a compact stereo I had back then – one of these that had “everything” in one piece: a cheap turntable with deplorable needle, an inconsistant tape deck, a digital (oh yes!) radio tuner, and a cd player that after some years did nothing but skip at the least particle of dust or fingerprint, all complemented with two small cardbox speakers the name unworthy. As I play the album now on my current and decent stereo setup, I hear so much more details and colors than I could have imagined at that time. But, nevertheless, a blast it was, that album. It still is.