Saturday, September 03, 2011

My Favourite Albums: 1 Husker Du Zen Arcade

Zen Arcade

This will be the first of my irregular posts about my favourite albums, which in a way shows my age as it means I grew up in an era where music was sold either on singles with only usually a couple of tracks or albums with probably about 10 or a dozen tracks rather than being bought and sold individually like downloads are. I know that downloads of albums still exist but they are more to provide a comfort zone for older consumers like me I think or to match with CD releases rather than being the way that younger people favour buying and consuming music.

Zen Arcade is one of Husker Du's most musically adventurous albums as it sees them move away from their early hardcore punk sound into more diverse sounds and approaches. There are still plenty of tracks that feature their early sound with the distorted guitar and rapid tempos of early hardcore, but also experiments with slower tempos and adding different instruments to the guitar, bass and drums lineup.

In one way Zen Arcade is a concept album as it does have a unifying story that underlies the lyrical content of the songs. The story is of a boy running away from an unhappy home and facing the options of religion (Hare Krishna), the military (Chartered Trips) and drugs (Pink turns to Blue) before facing a realisation that life is hard and change is not always something we can create for ourselves (Newest Industry). The tracks Dreams Reoccurring and Reoccurring Dreams imply that it is all a dream.

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