So technically, I guess, this should be put into April‘s Book Club, as the album was released last week, but I’m including it in May’s edition. Music may not usually be a facet of Book Club, but this time around, I’m profiling the album for nostalgia’s sake.
Played in Space: The Best of Something Corporate
From grades six to eight, I listened to Something Corporate‘s “Leaving Through the Window” on repeat. I had this compact Sony boombox, blue and round and futuristic looking, and I played that album to no end. I would belt out every line from start to finish, imagining a future in which I were someone’s punk rock princess.
“Punk Rock Princess” [Leaving Through the Window, 2002]
In 2003, the band’s second album, “North,” dropped, and, while there were a few tracks with lyrics I doodled on TrapperKeepers and pocket folders, the album lacked the great appeal of the first full-length SoCo endeavor. Even today, when “Fall” or “Straw Dog” comes on shuffle, I’ll make no move to change tracks. Don’t get me wrong – “North” is good. It’s still one of my favorite albums, despite it all, but even with my love for both albums, particularly the band’s debut, I expressed a good bit of doubt upon hearing they would be releasing a greatest hits compilation. Do they really have enough hits to warrant a full-scale retrospective? And, if so, what does the release provide that I cannot get from their previous albums?
The answer to that question, simply, is very little. Sure, there’s a second disc with “Played in Space” that includes some “unreleased” tracks, but, in truth, there is no new track whatsoever, as even “Letters to Noelle” and “Wait” date back to the last decade (though these were both rerecorded for the 2010 release). So, sure, the album’s track listing is replete with singles I love and adore (and, finally, a release of “Konstantine”), but there’s little to no point in purchasing the album if you already own the majority of the discography.
According to Wikipedia, the title “Played in Space” is a reference to the fact that NASA control on Earth played the song “The Astronaut” as a morning “wake-up call” to space shuttle astronauts a few years ago. It’s cool and all, and I am certainly happy to see SoCo even re-releasing material, but what I really want is less reissues and more of Andrew McMahon‘s raw and emotional voice. It’s been too long (2004! I was barely in high school!) since I’ve heard Andrew in his SoCo capacity, and he’s finally returning to the band after his battle with leukemia. McMahon suggests there will be no more new Something Corporate material in the foreseeable future, but there are certainly live reunion shows in the works, including a mid-May date at Bamboozle Chicago. Long live piano rock!