A rewind on the Rewind

The Rewind has been a great way for me to look back at some of my favourite albums and discover some new ones.

For the past eight months, I’ve written music reviews for each issue of the Interrobang. I tended to focus on classic music, anything released before 2005 was my rule. I love music, especially classic music, so I’m incredibly grateful that I was able to write these for Interrobang. During the run of this volume of Interrobang, I learnt a lot about the art of writing reviews, how to articulate what makes a song good, and how to branch out in genres (kind of).

The first review I wrote was Nevermind by Nirvana. I was incredibly positive towards the album, an opinion I maintain. While I prefer In Utero, the band’s sophomore album is their most approachable and easily enjoyable work. Reading the review itself, it’s not great. I just go through each song, say a brief description, and decide whether I like it or not. Later on in the Rewind, I tried to adopt an approach that had me writing more about the themes of the album, or the climate it was made in. I don’t love the work I did on the early Rewinds, but I believe I improved a lot as time went on.

My favourite review I wrote is a toss up between What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye or The Matrix. What’s Going On was new waters for me. I’d never really listened to soul and only knew about Martin Gaye from his big hits and his untimely death. It was really interesting to explore this genre that I’d never properly experienced before by taking a look at one of the greats. Reading it now, my passion for music and what music can do for people really shows through the writing.

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The Matrix was one of two movie reviews I did for the Rewind. I wanted to do more, but either couldn’t find the time, or just couldn’t articulate what I enjoyed about a specific film. But writing the review for The Matrix review was, to put it bluntly, rad as hell. I forgot how much I enjoyed that movie.

I was able to explore a lot of the themes of gender, dysphoria, and choosing who you want to be, which are very relatable. It’s also just one of the best action movies ever made and was a lot of fun to write about. My partner, Matt, even cited it in one of his essays, which is the coolest thing ever as a burgeoning writer.

Universally, I tried to stay positive throughout the reviews, as everything has its fans. The two albums I was the harshest on were Pinkerton by Weezer and American Idiot by Green Day. It didn’t help that these reviews were back to back, so for a month, I complained about two universally loved albums.

My main takeaway with Pinkerton is that it’s aged like milk. I used to love it back in high school, but a few of the lines irk me, like “if I’m a dog, then you’re a bitch” off “Butterfly” or the entirety of “Across the Sea.” While Pinkerton has gotten the respect it deserves in recent years, it’s definitely not my favourite.

American Idiot is a much simpler issue. I think the music itself is great, but think the album could have gone further with its anti-war messaging. It feels less like they were really angry about the Iraq War and more like they wanted to use it as set dressing for the music videos. The album decides to cope with apathy, and in 2023, I’m pretty tired of apathy.

So what have I learned? Writing music reviews is really hard! It’s hard to articulate what makes a song good, it’s hard to pick what to talk about, it’s hard to listen to the same music for a week straight, and it’s very hard to branch out of your music comfort zone. But it was a lot of fun to write these reviews, and I’m very proud of what I’ve done here. Will the Rewind continue? I don’t know yet. I’m currently trying to figure out what the Rewind will look like after this volume of Interrobang is finished. Whatever the outcome, I’m glad you all came along for the ride.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.