Artist: Candian Softball
Album: Awkward & Depressed
Genres: Comedy, Emo
Comedy rock doesn’t get enough credit in the music industry. Comedy music legends like Wierd Al Yankovic, Spinal Tap, The Rutles, and Flight of the Conchords will NEVER be compared with the likes nor even said in the same sentence with the likes of Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, or Jimi Hendrix. And of course, it’s obvious why, their music was by no means “legendary”. Their music didn’t change the industry. Their music is just silly and should only be put on for thoughtless cheap laughs. Except it shouldn’t.
Frank Zappa proved that rock music with a tongue-and-cheek approach can add a whole new layer of depth to a song, and not only form a bond with a listener but also keep them coming back for more. I think the problem is that, with rock music, snobs can’t have fun anymore. All their music has to sound as cold and “””experimental””” (extra quotations for that one) as Radiohead and it really is a sad standard that has been set by the industry. But the music industry can’t fully be to blame for this, in fact, I’m not even sure if we can blame them for this at all. If anything, we should be blaming ourselves, the music fans. We’ve put review publication websites like Pitchfork up on this pedestal that allow them to dictate the pretentious artsy-schmartsy taste of easily-swayed /mu/-tants. Music isn’t fun anymore. There’s really nothing to turn to in the present day of music in order for us to laugh and feel happy with. Are albums like “The OOZ” by King Krule and “A Crow Looked At Me” by Mount Eerie really gonna rise your spirits? Yeah, that’s what I thought. We live in an age of self-pity, especially on the internet. But it’s albums like Awkward & Depressed by Jared Alonge’s comedy rock project, Canadian Softball, that come by to help us all out a little…
So, as you can tell, Canadian Softball is a parody of the popular midwest emo band, American Football. And Jared Alonge doesn’t just stop at parodying and poking fun at the title of a popular midwest emo band, he mocks and satirises the entire midwest emo genre. And it is absolutely brilliant. Midwest emo is a genre filled with endless potential for parody, yet, no-one has really decided to really come along and fill their position as the “Emo parody guy”. And it is unknown whether or not Jared Alonge wishes to fulfil that spot either, but if not, he’s definitely warmed it up for someone with this album.
The album starts off with the opening track, Average Joe, which hilariously makes fun of how Emo front-men present themselves as an everyday loser kid in their lyrics, even though you know they’re just living it up as teenage Tumblr girl heartthrobs. From the first strum of the guitar on this album, this album just sums up the sound of Emo music brilliantly. Sing-along choruses with the highest amount of polish available on the production board, whiny vocals of a “misunderstood” outcast, relatable lyrics, math rock riffs, everything you could possibly ever want and need from an Emo parody album.
Speaking of math rock, the third track on here, Mathematical (one of the best tracks on the album), hilariously makes fun of math rock with the singer constantly flaunting off his superior mathematical skills, his light voice, unnecessary tempo changes that make no sense, and at the end, quote unquote, “musical gibberish”. Hey man, they were only jamming out…
(Also, a quick mention to Mumble, the track on here that probably made me laugh the hardest out of all the tracks. As you can probably guess by the title, the entire song is the singer mumbling seemingly in-coherent nonsense, which I already thought was funny enough, but after looking up the actual lyrics, the song was only made all the more hilarious. I won’t say what the lyrics actually are, since I don’t want to spoil the laugh, but I personally found it absolutely hilarious. Anyway, on with the review.)
When I first listened to this album with my friend sitting beside me, I pounced in pure shock when I found that Jared Alonge actually decided to do a cover of one of Emo’s most popular (and best) songs, Sunny Day Real Estate’s Seven. Showing that for how much Jared is making fun of the Emo genre here, he still obviously appreciates and loves the genre which made me inexplicably happy for some reason.
You know, I actually wrote more here but I decided to delete it, because I think that instead of analysing more of the tracks, you should just go listen to it and have a good time already. Obviously with comedy albums, the quality can depend on your sense of humour but if your sense of humour just happens to be like mine, you’ll really like this album.
All in all, Awkward & Depressed is a great satire of the Emo genre and is one of the best and most fun releases of this year. Go listen to it and have a laugh. Jared Alonge, please make more of this.