Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
What makes an album work? What makes an album great? What makes an album popular? Right genre at the right time? Full of catchy hooks or something deeper like real meaningful lyrics that touch people in a deep way? Or is it something else?
In 1996 MxPx but all these things together and released Life in General, the album that would launch the band into the Christian and mainstream spotlight. Life in General is the first album I would designate as having that MxPx sound. Yes, both Pokinatcha and Teenage Politics had great songs but Life in General was solid start to finish. It was the beginning of MxPx’s maturing without losing that teenage high school feel the band had created on their first two albums. The band was growing up and maturing right alongside their fans.
Sometimes You Have to Ask Yourself and The Wonder Years were really the songs lyrically that would be the pointer to what was going to come on Slowly Going The Way of the Buffalo. Tracks like Middlename and Move to Bremerton showcase the bands ability to write ballads. My Mom Still Cleans My Room, Andrea, Cristalena, and Do Your Feet Hurt are fantastic pop punk songs. Life In General has my favorite MxPx song and possibly my favorite song of all time, Doing Time. Of course we can’t forget Life in General’s big single, the one that made MxPx, Chick Magnet.
It might not be my favorite MxPx record (Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo holds that title) but Life in General makes me, and many more I’m sure, nostalgic for high school and my younger years when I would skateboard every day listening to Life In General.