Monday, May 30, 2011

Falling Out of Love with Your Favorite Band

The other day I heard the Dropkick Murphys’ “Going Out In Style” on the KATT and it kind of made me ill.  My reaction was based on two things: 1) the way that the DJ acted like they were doing something amazing by playing DKM and 2) the fact that the song in question isn’t that great.  In fact the more I hear the band’s latest album of the same name, the more disappointed I get.  Dropkick Murphys were once a powerhouse of a band that had the potential to become one of the most important bands in the world but Going Out In Style sounds more like shtick, a band going through the motions than a band playing passionate music.  I could be off base of course and simply not enjoying this record as much due to my evolving musical tastes, but I’m not sure that is totally the case. 

I’ve been a long-time fan of DKM going all the way back to their early seven inch record releases before Do or Die.  I’ve watched this band change, grow, and evolve and it just seems to me that they have settled on something that they know works and have decided to simply churn out “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”-esque records.  There’s nothing wrong at all with them doing this, especially if that means continued success (they do have families they have to support and all), but the music lacks that passion and spark that made their previous albums so special.  Because of that I’ve really stopped listening to DKM.  I deleted most of their albums from my computer (I’m running out of hard drive space and thus have to get picky about what I keep on there) and haven’t picked up a copy of any of their albums to listen to in the kitchen for months (I listen to music while cooking a lot).  In a lot of ways the connection that I used to feel to this band is almost completely severed.  At this point I think of DKM the same way that I think of U2, as a band that was hugely import to me at one point in my life but will probably not make any music that comes close to their brilliant previous records.  Ironically I used to think of DKM as the next U2 so in a way it is fitting that they now occupy the same space in my mind. 

For a music junkie, it’s never fun realizing that you no longer love a band in the same way that you used to.  Sometimes it happens because your personal tastes have changed.  Sometimes it happens because something in the band or their music changed.  For me I think it is a bit of both that has caused me to fall out of love with the Dropkick Murphys.  That having been said, DKM are still one of my top five favorite bands of all time and there are some really good songs on Going Out In Style (the workers anthem “Take ‘Em Down” comes to mind), I just feel that I’ve lost that intimate connection with them and their music.  I’m not the only one that’s gone through these type of musical breakups either.  Recently NPR’s All Songs Considered covered this very topic.  You can check out their coverage here and here.  Also on a related note, you can read my original review of Going Out In Style here and my review of the Swingin’ Utters new album Here, Under Protest here (it’s related, trust me). 

Have you ever fallen out of love or broken up with one of your favorite bands? 

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