My high school English teacher Mrs. Johnson did me the great favor of writing some of my college recommendations. She wrote something very interesting about me, to this effect: That I had a strong negative reaction to Ernest Hemingway at first, but then “had the intellectual curiosity” to keep reading and ultimately come to appreciate his work at some level.
Hm. I wouldn’t say it was completely untrue, but let’s call it a generous description.
Which I subsequently wanted to live up to. (And what better thing could a teacher hope to teach?)
Flash forward: Gorillaz’ CD Demon Days is one of my favorites ever. It’s filled with big beats and interesting details. Compelling electronica, anime, and hiphop mashed together with an epic sense of humor.
When I recently discovered their 3-years-later release Plastic Beach, I didn’t like it. Really didn’t like it. And that was horrifying to confront. Were they the next Elastica, surfacing to record one fantastic album and then dissolving into mediocrity?
But, to repeat a familiar refrain, it doesn’t all come to you at once. And I came back to Plastic Beach and have developed a growing enthusiasm. This may have been more from disappointment (oh c’mon, they CAN’T have made a bad album!) than from intellectual curiosity. And I’m not sure Ernest (or Mrs Johnson) would like Gorillaz.
But so what.
(Also find White Flag and Superfast Jellyfish.)