Friday, September 11, 2009

Rock of Ages: Islands - "Rough Gem" (2006)

There is something to be said about Islands and it's that they are one of the most fun bands around. Their first album Return to the Sea is a delightful mix of what Nick Thorburn did with his prior group, The Unicorns, and something a little more cohesive. Don't get me wrong, The Unicorns album is stellar in every way possible, but it seemed to be a stepping stone to what Islands does as a band. They mix more textures and structure to it's pop music and definitely a vibe that seems a little more thought out. I could be totally wrong here, but proof positive is the power that "Rough Gem" has over it's listener. Thanks to a little online MP3 swap called Nighthawks that a friend of ours started, I was introduced to this slice of synth pop. The song is a dancey number laden with strings, synths, bleeps and bloops throughout and one of the most kinetic bass lines I've heard from a band such as this.

"Rough Gem" is the kind of song as I mentioned before like "Carrot Rope" and "Mr. Blue Sky" that can immediately bring a smile to my face. It reminds me of better days, of frivolous times post college and of reveling in the bright and sunny goodness of life. The line "I had a dream it was all a dream" really hits home to me sometimes as life sometime seems like a dream but it's reality. This song gives you those emotions. What "Rough Gem" does is kind of set a time and place in my life. It's like a hash mark of a time of change, renewal and progressing greatness in all things. Since hearing the song, life has been just that much brighter.

Up Next: Dinosaur Jr. dust off their fossilized past to come back with a searing rocker

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