Friday, February 10, 2012

20 Essential Albums: Bakesale

Sebadoh’s album Bubble and Scrape came to me through a borrowed cassette tape from a close friend and, though there a great songs there amidst the noise, it was Bakesale that became the important album.  It helped that Sebadoh gave up some of the pure noise that infected their previous efforts, but Bakesale showed it was okay to write sensitive indie rock.  It was 1994; maybe it was emo before emo became a thing.
The guitars on the album are loose, maybe a little out of tune, barely distorted. The drums often shuffle with a backbeat that would come off as funk in another setting.  And Lou Barlow’s voice is thin and plaintive. When he sings “There's nothing wrong with the need to please,” you believe him.  And there’s a song like “S. Soup”, led by the band’s Jason Lowenstein. Loud and harsh, the bass up front, the song makes you agree with the lines “Crazy people are right on / crazy people are right.”

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