I thought I try an experiment this week. Instead of blabbing about some new album and faking authority through personal opinion, I figured I’d look inward and re-assess something I used to think had value.
When I was in 8th grade (9 years ago) there was a self-titled (debut) release from a band called Adema. I loved this album and spun the CD to near-oblivion. It was, what I considered, a modern rock masterpiece with great vocal lines, fantastic production, and an over-all sound that seemed to pique my interest just a little more than their peers.
The album’s singles, “Giving In” and “The Way You Like It” were regulars on the radio and music TV, claiming them moderate success throughout the albums tenure. But for me, each track was an angst-filled anthem reminding me to hate things that caused me stress and to avoid drama. Good advice for an 8th grader.
But, as I entered into High School and matured, Adema found it’s way into some milk crate or sports bag (Spartan Pride!) as I shifted my possessions around and was eventually lost to obscurity. The album was safe in my iTunes, but as my tastes changed over the years, it found nearly zero purposeful plays (I’d still press skip if it was on shuffle).
Just the other day, however, a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless to protect his shame) and I waxed nostalgic and yanked out Adema and gave it a listen.
The album still has plenty of redeeming qualities, but the lyrics are so bad, consistently, that I had to hold a chuckle just to make sure the next line didn’t make up for it’s predecessor (spoiler alert: It doesn’t). Most of the time, they don’t even really make sense (and not in the cool, enigmatic way). As I mentioned before, they’re usually about stress or semi-romantic anger. Being 12, I could totally relate.
However, as much as the lyrics were awful, the vocal lines they were harnessed within were pretty catchy and actually very musical. In fact, the music was solid on nearly every track. Each song had fantastic “extras” going on throughout the album really make it. Yes, Adema is a Nu-Metal/Modern Rock band that nowadays would be sneered at and heckled off of all but the most pathetic of dive bar stages, but back then, they were surging forward and championing a new complex-yet-pretty-dumb sound that I couldn’t get enough of.
The ending track “Trust” is my favorite on the album, and not just because it means the end. It truly is a quality song. Again, the lyrics just don’t do it for me, but, musically, it’s fantastic. The ending acoustic-ish section is really great.
The beginning track, “Everyone”, however, is not good.
Really though, I don’t even think I can suggest to you what songs you should listen/not listen to. If you haven’t heard the album and enjoy 2000’s era modern rock, try it out. If you missed that phase (don’t worry, you didn’t miss much) you should probably skip it. It’s really only enjoyable if it brings wave after wave of needless but enjoyable nostalgia.
All I can say is that this album is now one of my new favorites. I can’t say it’ll stay that way for long, but for now, it’s in my long drive playlist, which I (unfortunately) get to play all the time.
On a scale of one to ten, this album is awful and oddly enjoyable. But you really have to try it out to know which one you agree with more. Good luck.
On a summing note, I recommend that everyone find one of their old favorites and giving it a listen. Keep an open mind. Things have most likely changed since you first enjoyed your choice. So go out there and have yourself an experience. But remember listen responsibly. Just because you liked it a long time ago (and then jettisoned it to obscurity) doesn’t mean your roommate wants anything to do with it.