I would say Jeff Rosenstock’s still-relatively-new album is a pretty good indicator that 2016 was a legitimately great year for music. Because upon first hearing it, I was actively resisting its greatness. Like, we’re almost at end-of-the-year top ten times hear at Mildly Pleased, and my top ten feels so complete at this point and I’m getting sick of rearranging it over and over again. And that’s not even to mention the fact that there are still albums that have been placing high on a lot of music publication’s top tens that I haven’t spent enough time with (mainly the two by those Knowles sisters), and there’s even that Childish Gambino record that I haven’t gotten around to listening to. So an album that hits my pleasure centers in such a potent way as WORRY. feels almost like an inconvenience than another welcome addition to a year chocked full of great music.
But at the end of the day, I just can’t deny the pleasurable potency of this rockin’ opus. Rosenstock is an artist that I had zero prior knowledge of, but apparently he’s been a force on the ska/punk scene in New York for many years, though considering ska’s never really been my bag, I guess it makes sense that I’d never heard of him. But what’s most impressive is just the wide variety of different rock sounds Rosenstock takes on here – from the album’s opening notes, he sounds like an angstier Brian Wilson, which eventually transitions into a fist-pumping, anxiety-ridden sing-a-long like “Wave Goodbye To Me”. Then towards the end of the album, we get to this series of songs were Rosenstock embraces his ska roots and even delves into a little bit of hardcore as well. The point is, it’s a big mish-mash of sounds that probably shouldn’t work, but totally does due to Rosenstock’s steady hand as a songwriter, and in the process serves as another great antidote to fighting the oncoming dread of 2017.
Favorite Tracks: “Festival Song”, “Wave Goodnight To Me”, “I Did Something Weird Last Night”