Regarding that last post, about The Arcade Fire and what I called their “cheap uplift”—when their second album came out, I liked it a lot. I thought it was considerably better than their first album, and I, with what in hindsight seems a little bit hyperbolic, included it in my top ten albums for that year (“No one made a better album about fear and loathing in America this year than The Arcade Fire…the music…splits the difference between the hysterics of Bright Eyes and the hysterics of Bono”). But when I go back and listen to it now, I don’t really hear any of whatever it was that made me think it was so great. My love for it waned, and I don’t think that’s such a terrible thing. It happens with a lot of music, which probably more than any other art form, seems to have an incredibly short shelf life.
And that’s okay, I think. There’s still albums and bands I loved when I was a kid that I like as an adult, but there’s just as many that worked for me at that time that I’ve moved away from—it’s not them, it’s me, in other words. Like so many other things, I tend to associate this fading of enthusiasms with getting older, which tends to make you reconsider some of the loves you once had. Currently, for example, I really like The National, and one of the reasons I do is because they seem to tap into a deeper, more grown-up set of emotions than most of their peers. But it’s possible that in five years I’ll look back on their albums and just see moodiness and melodramatic wallowing.
But that’ll be fine, really. Because for whatever reason, that’s what’s I need—or want—at this point. It’s like that old Uncle Tupelo song—a song I still like, but not as much as when I was 20—says: not forever, just for now.