Liner Notes (April 23rd, 2022)


In this week’s newsletter, I look at finally writing an album review for the first time in a few years, give some other thoughts on music out this week, offer some first impressions of the new Simple Plan album, and there’s also a playlist of ten songs I enjoyed. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

If you’d like this newsletter delivered to your inbox each week (it’s free and available to everyone), you can sign up here.

A Few Things

  • Happy, happy Saturday everyone. I hope you had a lovely week. This week saw me posting my first long-form album review in a few years. With this newsletter being the primary outlet for my writing these days, I’ve found that I enjoy tackling most albums here, in this format. It allows me to talk about things with less pressure, less suffering over every word, every edit, and with just more freedom to give little thoughts more conversationally. But, there are times when something hits me in such a way that I feel like I need to get what’s inside out on “paper.” This new album from Cold Years was one of those times. From about the third listen, I knew there was something special here, something that connected with me in a certain way, and I could feel the wireframe of the review starting to come together. I had the theme, the first line, and a good idea for how I wanted to close it. And when something like that starts to build inside my head, that’s when I know I need to sit down and write it out. In the end, I’m pretty happy with it. I could tinker and edit forever, but I think I captured exactly what I wanted to say about the release, with the final two paragraphs getting to the core. And it was nice to sit down and write something of this length again, to dive a little deeper into an album. I hope everyone gives it a read and checks out the album, and, above all, I hope you like the album even 1/100th as much as I do.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Well, obviously, my favorite release of the day is the new album from Cold Years, Goodbye to Misery. I haven’t heard something capture the moment like this since American Idiot; it’s special.
  • Also released this week is the latest from Charlie Simpson, Hope is a Drug. This one has a little more adult contemporary vibe to it, and it’s leaning into the pop realm, but the songs are solid. Charlie has a very distinct voice, and I think it works well here.
  • And Daniel Johns also released his new solo album yesterday. This one is more eclectic, with some really interesting swings, all led by the former Silverchair frontman’s powerful vocals. I’ll be spending some more time next week with this one, I’m sure.
  • I’ve listened to the new Simple Plan album roughly three times so far. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d think the band would be doing here; there’s nothing that surprises me. But it is a completely solid group of Simple Plan songs. This is a band where you know exactly what you’re going to get, but that’s kinda more than enough for them. The songs released so far do a good job of showing what’s to come. “Congratulations” and “Ruin My Life” are highlights, along with “Slow Motion.” I could take or leave “Iconic” and “Two” – but for a nice little unoffensive pop-rock album, this will be fun to listen to this summer.
  • As I wrote about last week, I’ve been trying to go through some artists and albums that aren’t “collected” on my page and listen to them. Not only because I haven’t heard the albums in a loooong while, and it’s fun to revisit, but because I want the record to reflect what I’ve heard in my life, and there are some weird gaps. This week I went back to The Early November’s triple disc. It took me four days to make it through. One disc per day, with that third disc getting split up. That is a behemoth of a record. I had to go back and read Drew’s review of the album because I had forgotten what people were saying back in the day. That third disc might flow a little strange with the “sessions,” but I still dig the songs. I also spun In Currents and think it’s an underrated gem in the band’s catalog. A whole lot of great tracks on that one.
  • Anthony Green announced a new solo album and if the two songs released from it are any indication, this is one to keep an eye on.
  • As anyone who follows this newsletter knows, I’ve been begging for a New Found Glory re-press of Sticks and Stones for a while now. It finally happened this week, but it was another limited press. Thankfully, I was able to snag one. I’m incredibly excited to add this one to the collection (and am hoping the Coming Home pressing rumors I hear come true later this year). My excitement led me to spin some of their albums this week, including their live album, which I had sort of forgotten about. It’s an excellent live release with three fun b-sides. As the weather keeps warming up here in the Pacific Northwest, my pop-punk side is starting to call to me.
  • The new Dangerous Summer single “Coming Home” is coming next week, and it’s pretty vintage Dangerous Summer. Feels right in line with their last album and the EP. I’m eagerly anticipating the full-length.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 21 different artists, 46 albums, and 510 different tracks (632 scrobbles). My most played album was, again, Cold Years’ Goodbye to Misery. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I have finally seen The Batman film. After hating my experience watching No Way Home in a theater, I decided to wait for this to hit video, and I’m delighted I did. I had a much better time sitting at home on my couch, being able to pause, and not having any distractions. It was a far better experience for a very long movie. That’s my only real issue with it … it felt its length. (And the third act felt a little tacked on with a strange “finale” — I’m not sure how much that worked for me.) But the good was excellent. Pattinson was fantastic as Bats. As good as you could ask for. The costume looked great. Good take on Bruce. Batmobile was incredible. A very moody film with a lot of style and a solid script, and good direction. It didn’t leave me thinking, “Oh shit, I have to watch that again,” like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight did, but it did leave me thinking it was just a solid Batman movie. The kind of thing that is a good foundation for a franchise, and I hope this team gets to make a few of these. And it is a film I am looking forward to seeing again; I just kinda wished that third act got trimmed up, tightened. Cool world-building, though, and it felt the most like a lived-in Gotham. Dano was great, a good choice for the baddy. Penguin kind of stole every scene he was in. Batman’s introduction is awesome. (I hope they use another villain in the next before just doing another Joker pass.)
  • Ambulance is precisely what it looks like. An over the top ridiculous Michael Bay action movie. It’s stupid. But it was also rather fun in that way a stupid action movie can be. Also, not a bad argument for defunding the police. The cops get involved, millions of dollars of damage occurs, and many more people die directly because of their intervention and actions. Probably not what the filmmaker was trying to say.
  • The first three episodes of Moon Knight have been fun. I’m not yet “wowed,” but I have enjoyed it so far.
  • Two episodes into Severence, and I already can tell this is extremely my shit. I’m avoiding all spoilers and want to know nothing about this show as we work our way through it.
  • We’ve begun a re-watch of Derry Girls now that the third season is out. This show is pure joy, and I forgot how funny and likable everyone is.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • I didn’t post any records on the ‘ol Instagram this week. I was busy at night working on my review and forgot/didn’t have time. I have officially ran out of space for any new records though … so they’re sitting on top of the record player now. Shit. Shrug
  • The newsletter is coming later in the day today because Hannah and I went for a nice long walk this afternoon. She’s playing with the orchestra this weekend, so she had rehearsal this morning, and then we decided to enjoy the nice weather and go have some lunch (and a beer) and wander around some of the nearby neighborhoods. The concert is tonight so I’ll have to find something to do this evening.

Ten Songs

Here are ten songs that I listened to and loved this week. Some may be new, some may be old, but they all found their way into my life during the past seven days.

  1. Cold Years – Goodbye to Misery
  2. Charlie Simpson – Flatline
  3. Daniel Johns – Reclaim Your Heart
  4. Pinkpanthress – Where You Are
  5. Thursday – Understanding in a Car Crash (Live)
  6. The Early November – In Currents
  7. New Found Glory – Connect the Dots
  8. Prince Daddy & The Hyena – Hollow, As You Figured
  9. Yellowcard – What Appears
  10. Cold Years – Jack Knife

This playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Community Watch

The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:

The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by sophos34 in the “General Politics Discussion IX” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Sign up for a free weekly newsletter full of thoughts on music, entertainment, technology, and other cool stuff. Your email address stays completely private.