Saturday Music Special: New Found Glory

Posted by Cory , Saturday, August 14, 2010 12:00 AM

I can vividly remember hearing my first New Found Glory songs. Long before iTunes was the standard, I was one of the multitudes downloading music from Kazaa and other such services. I was introduced to the concept of emo (before it was equated with depressed kids and Myspace pictures with hair swept across the face) by a classmate who reviewed a Jimmy Eat World album for our school paper. I was immediately intrigued by the seemingly nonsensical combination of punk beats and lyrics charged with raw emotion. After a little bit of research, I stumbled upon "Ballad for the Lost Romantics" and was instantly hooked; this was unlike anything I had listened to before.

I remember exactly where I was when I bought my first NFG album. On our annual family trip to Montana to visit my dad's family, my mom and I were out shopping one day when I spotted a Hastings store as we drove through Great Falls. I'm a sucker for any store that combines books, movies and music, so I asked mom to pull over so I could wander through and see if anything caught my eye. I wound up walking out with NFG's self-titled album. I popped it into my discman (Lord, remember those days?) as soon as we got back to Grandma's house and couldn't stop listening for days.

"Sticks and Stones" was released not long after that to much fanfare on the TRL scene. At that point in my life, I was a faithful MTV viewer and was incredibly entertained by the video for "My Friends Over You." It was my first time seeing the band perform (oh, YouTube; how did we survive without it?) and I loved that they showcased their playful spirit while maintaining the witty, sometimes biting lyrics that I had come to love listening to.

Fast-forward to a week ago. In the mood to find some new music to listen to, I opened up the list I keep of bands whose albums I'm interested in downloading. Halfway down the list, I spotted New Found Glory; they had released an album called "Coming Home" in 2006 that I had always meant to buy but had somehow gotten pushed further and further down the list by other bands that I was discovering at the time. Why not now?, I thought. I clicked on the button to buy the album and waited patiently (okay, not so patiently; I was at my parents' house for the weekend and their wireless "connection" is atrocious).

Y'all, I don't even know what took me so long. "Coming Home" is an amazing album, simultaneously entirely familiar to me and unlike any of New Found Glory's previous work. It almost seems like fate that I didn't hear it until now; the lyrics on this album speak to everything that I've been feeling lately, from thoughts on love to reflections on growing up. I truly can't remember the last time I could not stop listening to an album, but it's all I've wanted to listen to the past week.

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