I don’t care what it looks like outside today. This is a sign that spring is coming.
One story that my best friend and I have in common is our opinion of Pearl Jam’s album, “No Code”. We were small-town college students that drove the 30 minutes to a larger town on release day to pick it up. We listened to it in the car on the way back to school and came to the same opinion. “This sucks.” Many years later, separately, we would both change our opinion to “This is a great album.” I can’t speak for him, but it just might be my favorite Pearl Jam album. It’s different, but brilliant.
I have recently had a similar change of opinion for another album. This time, it’s Radiohead’s “The King of Limbs”. The album was released over 3 years ago. As a Radiohead fan, I picked it up the first day that it was available. I eagerly pushed play. Almost immediately, I was out. This just wasn’t the Radiohead I was used to. It was very quiet. Yes, Radiohead has always had some beautiful, quieter songs, but those were the exceptions. They were wonderful pieces of the other albums, but I was not down with an entire 40 minutes of them. “The King of Limbs” sat on my iDevice, mostly unplayed. Every 6 or 8 months I’d go back and listen to it again; only reassuring myself that I did not like it. When I wanted to listen to Radiohead, 19 times out of 20, one of the earlier albums would be played.
But I have “No Code” in my past. The record that fought through years of dislike to triumph to the point where it’s always in contention to be my favorite. Recently, I again put on “The King of Limbs”, expecting to be disappointed yet again. However, that didn’t happen this time. I enjoyed quite a few of the songs. I even went back and listened to them again, thinking, “I don’t think I’ve even heard this one before.” But I know I’ve heard it before. I’ve heard them all before. Somehow, most of them sounded different this time. They sounded better.
I doubt it has any possibilities of doing a complete turnaround and becoming my absolute favorite like “No Code” did. It’s still my least favorite Radiohead album, but at least I can finally say that I enjoyed listening to it.