Thursday, August 11, 2011

25 Albums. #25: Turn the Radio Off by Reel Big Fish

This album is almost single-handedly responsible for
teaching thousands of teens to think that ska is cool.
This album. This fucking album. This album came out during the peak of third wave ska's popularity and was (IS) probably one of the biggest things to have come out from that time. Sure, a couple of songs are re-recorded versions of songs from Everything Sucks (which should've been the first indication of what was to come) but it's all just so fun and silly. They sing about how much life sucks but the music sounds so happy! What a wonderful thing to sing about!

That's pretty much Reel Big Fish in a nutshell. Cheery music about how shitty life can be. These guys had the whole early-2000's emo thing down before it was even a thing. Except with horns.

The thing about Reel Big Fish is, that no matter how simplified you can make them seem, they do it pretty well. And when you're a 14 year old teenager who doesn't want to give in to listening to Taking Back Sunday or whatever was popular on Fueled by Ramen like the rest of your peers, ska seems like the next best thing. I spent almost an entire Christmas vacation listening to Turn the Radio Off while playing Mario Kart and it remains a fond memory. It also brings back lots of memories of being at camp in 2003 and 2004, where Turn the Radio Off was one of the mandatory three albums that everyone owned (the other two being Licensed to Ill and Sublime's self titled).

So how did this album have a profound effect on my life?

It taught me (in a way) to have fun with life even if everything does suck. It was an important lesson for me to learn, especially during the height of those angst-ridden years in high school. I don't know how I would've made it out alive if I hadn't (probably by listening to something else, but I like the lessons I learned).

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