Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Favourite LPs #3 - Samantha Greenberg

No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom (1995)

By Samantha Greenberg

The world is harsh when you're 15. You hate everyone and no one likes you. You're emotional and erratic. The pop-ska anthems of No Doubt's first album are certainly tailor-made for you. You listen to "Don't Speak" when you're crying and alone. You belt out "Just a Girl" and "Excuse Me Mr." in the car with your friends. You sang "Sixteen" and "Sunday Morning" in front of the mirror. Or at least I did.

True story, for about a year, my cell phone answering machine message was the chorus from "Spiderwebs": 

"Sorry I'm not home right now
I'm walking into spiderwebs
So leave a message
And I'll call you back."

It was angsty but not depressed. Pop-y but not saccharine. Girly but not weak. I got the album when it came out and I was all of 6 years old. I don't know what my father, who introduced me to David Bowie and The Who, was thinking when he let me get that CD. He loves me that much, I guess. Tragic Kingdom was my music. It was my taste - not something that my dad taught me to like or my friends suggested. It's an album that, from start to finish, is completely unskippable. Not one song falls short. The sound may be repetitive but the energy (and horns) keep it from feeling stale. To this day, it remains highly played on my iTunes account. I may reach for it less and less but I'm always happy when a Tragic Kingdom song comes on shuffle. 

I know it's not the best musically or lyrically or conceptually. But our favorite albums aren't always based on logic - they come from memories and emotions and time. For what I wanted, for what it gave me, Tragic Kingdom is the best.

Track list:

1. Spiderwebs
2. Excuse Me Mr.
3. Just A Girl
4. Happy Now?
5. Different People
6. Hey You
7. The Climb
8. Sixteen
9. Sunday Morning
10. Don't Speak
11. You Can Do It
12. World Go 'Round
13. End It On This
14. Tragic Kingdom

Wanna write about your own favourite record? Just holla, yo.

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