About a week ago, I bought a used car and discovered that the previous owner left many wondrous things behind, like a small tube of lip balm covered with hair, half a pencil with no eraser, and four CDs in the six disc CD changer. Here is the long-awaited answer to the question: which left behind album is best?
I’ll be writing this as I’m listening, so everything you read is live... sort of. I’m also going to skip around a bit because this is ridiculous enough without me having to listen to four and a half hours of music at once.
Especially since some of that music is Creed.
The things I do for you people.
What the hell is this? I feel like this is the theme music for an acid trip that could go one of two violent ways. <skip>
This is the music that all those sweaty-but-well-meaning hippies at Woodstock regarded as good? It’s hokey as shit. The lyrics are a whole ‘lotta nothing. I think this is the sort of music for people that just can’t admit that Jefferson Airplane had, at best, two good songs. <skip>
Jesus Tapdancing Christ, this is grating and the riffs sound like a deaf 14-year-old wrote them. In their defense, standards were lower back then, I think. The next time someone tells me that our school system is failing, I’ll point them to this album and show them that it was exponentially worse back in the good ‘ol days. <skip>
Is this the chicken dance?<skip>
No, this is definitely the chicken dance.<skip>
I can’t take any more. Honestly, try to see how long you can handle The Doors before screaming into a pillow. Those of you saying that “They were the soundtrack to my childhood! I loved it!” might want to have your tap water checked for lead traces.
Pros: I’m glad sound engineers could find work remastering all of these songs. The job market can be tough nowadays.
Cons: It’s what happens when you confuse talent with a good reefer hookup. Is it still called reefer? I’m still cool, right? RIGHT?!
HOLY HELL, it’s like I got blasted in the chest by 1992. Why was freestyle a thing, and why did they use the same “pop” drum effect in every song? I know people like repetition, but - wait - are those Christmas bells in the background? Is this even English? Toni, you should probably stop recording these things after your dentist appointments, it sounds like the novocaine hasn’t quite worn off. <skip>
Hey! I know this song! It’s the one where she “can’t stop a-thinking abowwwwt-a” a bunch of random unintelligible things. This is also the song that I couldn’t get out of my head when I had the chicken pox at 12 years old and couldn’t sleep because I was covered with oatmeal cream. I’m pretty sure I was slipping quietly into an itchy insanity at that point.
Now that I think about it, I hate this song. <skip>
It’s another song I know! Unbreak my heart! I wonder if that’s like unscrambling eggs. I’m quickly realizing I’m not a Toni Braxton fan. She sounds like she’s not in emotional pain, but physical pain - what happened, Toni? What shape was the LEGO you stepped on? Those 2x4s are the worst. I remember I had a blue one that matched almost exactly with the color of my carpet and I grazed it with my heel and nearly peed on myself - oh shit, the song’s over. <skip>
OK, a song about not being man enough - or something. I can’t understand a damn thing. Something about swearing and calling on a landline. Now she’s talking over herself. I’m done with this one. <skip>
Another one complaining about someone not being a man? Just dump his ass, Toni! I know he’s technically giving you inspiration for writing songs and thus prolonging a profitable music career, but it’s obvious from a cursory glance that it’s a toxic relationship. Also, what the hell are you saying? You have gauze in your mouth again. <skip>
If someone can decipher the lyrics to this, you should consult with Stephen Hawking on expanding our search for alien life because humans aren’t meant to make these sorts of sounds. Oh God, her voice just doubled. I think I’ve heard enough.
Pros: Danceable beat, awesome jingle bells in the first song.
Cons: Seems to have been performed almost entirely in Klingon (I don’t speak Klingon), no insight as to what percentage of man is optimal.
I know exactly one Eagles song and it better be on this CD - you know the one I’m talking about.
Crap, the CD started. This sounds like Kenny Loggins. I feel like I should be riding across the country on a Harley, concealing the fact that I’m also a moderately successful middle-aged accountant during the other 51 weeks when I’m not all about STURGIS. <skip>
A ballad. I’m in my car, with a laptop, writing about a ballad on a CD I found in my trunk. This is my life. <skip>
OK, this is it - I think. There’s a flamenco solo at the beginning that sounds pretty badass. I don’t think the audience has caught on just yet, even though the chord progressions sound awfully familiar. THERE IT IS, the audience knows and is screaming with glee because THEY KNOW THE SONG! WELCOME TO THE HOTEL CALIFORNI - shit, the CD is skipping. God. Dammit. <skip>
There are no other tracks that will play because the CD is too scratched. Why would someone keep an unusable CD in the changer? Was it a challenge in which they would try to get to work before the first skip? Is that what it was? Is the Hotel California as lovely as they say it is?
Pros: That flamenco solo was just tremendous.
Cons: CDs are the devil because I’ve never scratched an MP3. How was this ever a viable format? There’s like 12 songs and the album cost $20 and it’s useless after I use it as a coaster once. It’s 2015! Where are my flying cars?!
CREED! Guitars! Drums! Scott Stapp! YASSEAH!
Wait - when was this made? Because again, I can’t tell what the hell he’s saying. Is he actively chewing something? Why does he pronounce every vowel with an “H” in front of it? Was that a law in the ‘90s? <skip>
This sounds familiar - this sounds like something I’d have listened to while writing bad poetry in my teen years on Xanga. I wonder if it’s still online. OH GOD PLEASE DON’T CHECK. <skip>
Here’s one I know - With Arms Wide Open. Not a bad song, but I remember it as being the one that prompted people to ask if Creed was a Christian band. They were all like “No way, man”, then they broke up and Scott Stapp made that Christian band. I still don’t know what this song is about. Is he hugging some girl? Is he in heaven? Is he Jesus? I’m pretty sure that’s a no-no in the Bible, probably. This song is way too long. <skip>
CAN EWE TAYKE ME-HEE HIYAAAAA?!<skip>
The CD’s skipping. Jeez, did the previous owner use this to pave a driveway? It looks like someone took an angle grinder to it. Considering it’s a homemade CD, why wouldn’t you just make another one? Half the tracks are missing, but then again, it is Creed, so the jury’s out on who has the shorter stick.
Pros: Creed isn’t as bad as people remember them to be. Some songs are quite enjoyable.
Cons: The CD looks like it was used as a coaster the wrong way ‘round to hold cups made entirely out of 80 grit sandpaper. Also Scott Stapp.
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world’s cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he’s the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn’t feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.