For an album about childlike innocence, it’s the opposite of kid-friendly, and that’s exactly what Manson intended. Smells Like Children is the sonic equivalent of a slasher flick in that destroys all things innocent with reckless abandon.
We live in an era where bands go in a studio and spend a large amount of money trying to make their album sound as if they recorded it into an old boombox that they dropped in a river, but nothing beats the real thing.
Skater dresses, biker jackets. New, “diminutive” takes on choker necklaces. Scrunchies ranging from Debbie Gibson to Lizzie McGuire and a Desperately Seeking Susan Madonna. Trucker hats–trucker hats!–are a thing now. But the surge of 2016 nostalgia doesn’t end there. Curiously enough, it’s pulled the pop-punk powerhouse from the backwaters: Sum 41, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, and even Thrice, all newly reunited, are slated to release albums in the next few months.
Good Charlotte spelt music. Four boys unmoored from a bedroom community in Maryland. Stocking shelves at Target, penning letters to labels: “sign us now for cheaper.” A dash of anger and hint of righteousness proved the critics and labels wrong. They made it. Where the music stopped and the story began, you never knew. Held under their spell, you wanted to be a part of it. Wanted to be them and be with them. You wanted to pour yourself into a jewel case, melt into the lowercase CarbonType liner-notes. And disappear. Into the music.
To Christopher, the title track to Hotel Paper packs more of an emotional punch than anything The National have ever recorded. Or so he writes Michelle Branch in this extremely belated fan letter.