Albums for Tough Times
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Albums for Tough Times

These albums aren't easy listening. But they make life easier to deal with.

Albums for Tough Times

There's those days for everyone. It doesn't matter who you are.

Bundles of pain, rage packed in a neat little bow.

A card mockingly acknowledging receipt of said bundles, written in the ink of your problems.

Apathy, invective, an eviscerating lack of anything good, not a single comforting thought trying to swirl, desperately so, in the abyss of your head.

What then? What panacea may you utilize? What salve will be the welcome anodyne to things that hurl themselves, break and then scatter their pieces along the walls of your mind, piercing like shards and causing shooting pain, yet things that you push to the back of your mind because, really, you're just trying to get through the next lecture?

The answer is simple.

Music. Plug into your world, and turn off the world.

I get it: different strokes for different folks. Some prefer Trina, some prefer thrash metal.

If you're even remotely familiar with my articles, you'll know I prefer my thrash metal like I prefer my coffee - everyday when I wake up. In place of coffee. Okay, I butchered that last analogy.

Speaking of butchering, we begin with the first album - a butchering, bludgeoning album of terrible, sharp noise that sounds like the guitarists wore razors on their fingertips, backed up by equally invective lyrics.

St. Anger by Metallica.

The album was universally panned by critics and fans. Released in 2003, it came at the conclusion of a period of difficult therapeutics for the band - egos clashed, and the resulting sparks that flew threatened to send the Metallica machine into flames. Lyrically, James Hetfield, the rhythm guitarist and singer for the band, does his best Ernest Hemingway impression, saying a lot by using very little.

Perhaps the lyrics one can relate most to are these, from the song Invisible Kid:

Invisible kid
Locked away in his brain
From the shame and the pain
World down the drain

Invisible kid
Suspicious of your touch
Don't want no crutch
But it's all too much

I hide inside
I hurt inside
I hide inside, bull I'll show you...

I'm OK, just go away
Into distance let me fade
I'm OK, just go away
I'm OK, but please don't stray too far

These rather poignant verses perfectly sum up how people might feel on the days I described in the intro. I know I've felt this way - still do, sometimes. It's an ongoing process to reduce their incidences, but the hell do I know? I'm just a lowly college student, burdened down with the millennial stereotype of entitlement, laziness and being a special snowflake. My problems don't matter in the real world - so my elders tell me. You want to push your friends away, yet keep them at arm's length - like a pulled rubber band, you want to release and fly free, yet you see the tether is the only thing grounding you in something that resembles normal. It's just one example, of course - it could be applied to a significant other as well.

If you're not familiar with Metallica and their contemporaries, taking a shot of St. Anger is a bit like introducing someone who's never had a drink before to, well, a really strong drink (I am at a loss to say what a strong drink is, maybe the reader will know better) of an alcoholic kind.

Album number two: Disclaimer by Seether.

(I really do need to print out that sign and just hang it outside my door whenever I feel like it. Knowing me, it might always be swinging from the doorknob, a forever warning.)

Seether is less gnarly to the ears as compared to thrash titans Metallica, but their off time, dissonant groove riffs can still pack quite an acoustic punch. The lyrics are subtly laced with the mentality of an addict, and self-destructive hatred and a dismissal of advice. All things I have experienced. That being said, addiction is not just drugs or experiments with intimacy.

The lyrics to Fine Again. They seem to have sprung with an immediacy that is simple and brutally effective, sung in a gentle, brooding croon by Shaun Morgan, Seether's raspy old lion of a singer.

It seems like every day's the same
And I'm left to discover on my own
It seems like everything is gray
And there's no color to behold
They say it's over and I'm fine again, yeah
Try to stay sober feels like I'm dying here

And I am aware now of how
Everything's gonna be fine one day
Too late, I'm in hell I am prepared now
Seems everyone's gonna be fine
One day too late, just as well

I feel the dream in me expire
And there's no one left to blame it on
I hear you label me a liar
'Cause I can't seem to get this through
You say it's over, I can sigh again, yeah
Why try to stay sober when I'm dying here.

To say anything after this would really be an exercise in redundancy, so I'll let the words wash over you for a bit.

Thank you for reading.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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