The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About
'Ten minutes to downtown is ten minutes too far...'
Something To Write Home About sees a re-release to celebrate its tenth anniversary and if there was to be a 'most influential modern album' survey this would surely be up there somewhere near the top. A decade on, it comes re-packaged with extended liner notes, a DVD (which features the album played in its entirety) plus seven downloadable demo tracks from the album sessions.
Ten years? I remember picking this album after hearing 'Red Letter Day' and the iconic 'robots in love' artwork struck a strange chord that has seen the album subsequently becoming a real, personal favourite. Singled out as the band's only true 'emo' album, it fits with the general aesthetic of the genre: empassioned, energetic but poppier than many of their more hard rock-influenced contemporaries. Also, at a time when Vagrant Records was struggling it went on to shift in excess of 200,000 copies, building the label as can be seen by its current roster of artists like Alexisonfire, Thrice and Alkaline Trio.
Flowing seamlessly from start to finish, its twelve tracks are nigh perfect, and it contains little where I would pass up the opportunity to listen over and over again. From the opening guitar blast of 'Holiday' to Sub Pop 7" single 'Ten Minutes', the energy is interspersed with the beautifully melodic 'Valentine' and the honest 'Out Of Reach' before ending with the piano-led 'I'll Catch You'. It never disappoints.
This album showcases five guys who were, at the time, struggling to find meaning and their place in society, yet they were able to do so through their music and lyrics. As James Suptic declares, 'One night doesn't mean the rest of my life.'
Something To Write Home About continues to influence more bands than its profile might suggest. With honesty and charm it leaves letters on the heart to this day.