Year 5, Day 16: A “Behind the Music” look at The Soundtrack Of Our Lives

Year 5, Day 16: The Soundtrack of Our Lives – Behind the Music

Track List

  1. Infra Riot
  2. Sister Surround
  3. In Someone Else’s Mind
  4. Mind the Gap
  5. Broken Imaginary Time
  6. 21st Century Rip Off
  7. Tonight
  8. Keep the Line Movin’
  9. Nevermore
  10. Independent Luxury
  11. Ten Years Ahead
  12. Still Aging
  13. In Your Veins
  14. The Flood
  15. Into the Next Sun

About the Album

Behind the Music is the third studio album from Swedish alt-rock/psychedelic rockers, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives (abbreviated T.S.O.O.L). The album was recorded from 2000 to 2001 and released on February 12th 2001 in Europe and subsequently released throughout the rest of the world in 2002 and 2003. The album was released through Telegram Records in Europe and through Universal Records in the United States. It was the band’s breakthrough album outside of Sweden as the album was nominated for the Best Alternative Album award at the 2003 Grammys.

Thoughts on the Album

When I reviewed Communion, I asked “where to begin?”. The fifth studio album from The Soundtrack Of Our Lives was monster and behemoth of an album. Today’s album, Behind the Music from The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. It is a heavy (and heady) one, coming in at just under one hour of music. If you took 1960’s psychedelic rock and mashed it together with psychedelia and added a pinch of 1970’s Detroit rock, then blended it together into a smooth, straightforward rock and roll sound, you’d end up with Behind the Music. The build from open to close and creates an original sound that few bands can imitate. A sound that is unique and all their own.

Behind the Music, a pun on the VH-1‘s popular music series of the same name, takes rock and roll on a journey in a similar trajectory. The album leaves behind the Union Carbide Productions days and takes the music a journey that is straight out of time and space itself.  The album opens opens with the thumping and clattering, Infra Riot. For a T.S.O.O.L. song, it is arguably the catchiest song the band has ever written. It transitions into the booming drums and sharply strummed acoustic guitar of Sister Surround. With Sister Surround, you get a late-60’s Rolling Stones influence. Nevermore, is a brilliant track whose construction is built on jangly guitar and shimmering piano melodies.

One of the amazing things about this album is how the album shifts and slides between tones and moods brilliantly. It never loses it’s rock edge ever, T.S.O.O.L. has zero issues downshifting going from raging rocker to a more mellow and chilled out sound. There is so much intensity and introspection found with this album. The album closes out the journey with the shimmering Into the Next Sun. A proper close that makes you feel as if you’ve completed the journey with the band; that you’ve experience something that was both great and surreal at the same time. It’s a cheesy, but that is the only way I can describe the feeling.

Conclusion

While Behind the Music may have lost out on the Grammy Award in 2003 to Coldplay‘s A Rush of Blood to the Head (equally deserving in my humble opinion). To compare Behind the Music to the band’s previous releases devalues the more straightforward rock sound and style that it developed. Here’s the thing, I think the guys in The Soundtrack Of Our Lives figured out that psychedelia and neo-psychedelia will only get you so far. If rock and roll ever needed saving, I doubt this album is the one to save it, but for the time period of music it was released into, it certainly is one of the most brilliant pieces of music released… in a long time.

(Next track – Previous Track)

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