There’s a Melvyn Bragg line that Mark Kermode has brought up in his film reviews: that how you react to something is affected in part on where you are in your life when you encounter it. And obviously, that’s true in music too.
But it in music, it’s even more complicated than that. What you feel about a particular album can be hugely dependent on the relationship you have with what the artist has done before – even in cases where you already liked them, and where you think the album is good – not necessarily how good the album itself is. Naturally, the best way to demonstrate this is with examples, so I’ve dug some out from 2020: Code Orange’s Underneath, Oceans Of Slumber’s self-titled album, Anaal Nathrakh’s Endarkenment, and Unreqvited’s Empathica.Continue reading “What you get out of an album isn’t just about how good it is – it’s also about your relationship with the band’s back catalogue”