This album has been on HRH‘s wish list for quite a while. We hunted and hunted at all the local record stores, but to no avail. Finally, she decided that it was something she didn’t want to find anymore but simply just “have”, so we ended up ordering it through the good people at SRCvinyl in Niagara Falls and, low in behold, it came in about a week ago. We’re only getting around to it now since she really wanted to listen to this album with me and today has been out first opportunity to do so…after ‘Eye of the Tiger‘, of course. Priorities are priorities after all. The record I’m speaking about is the ‘VHS‘ album by the X-Ambassadors.
Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, you’ve likely heard the ‘Renegades‘ song. If you haven’t heard it about a zillion times on the radio then you’ll instantly recognize it as the Jeep Renegade commercial (click HERE). So I guess I’m not very surprised that this song made such an impact on HRH. But here’s the thing though, it’s actually kind of catchy…the first million times or so, anyway. Needless to say I could do a whole lot worse (i.e. this hot mess HERE). Oh, HRH also thinks it’s pretty cool they have a blind guy in the band “just like Stevie Wonder“.
Me? I was pretty much prepared to hate it.
Anyway, ‘VHS‘ is the debut album by the little alternative band from Ithaca, New York released just this past June. The album features 20 tracks over two records, including 7 interludes and 3 previously released songs for a total of 10 new songs and features both Jamie N Commons (whoever that is) and Imagine Dragons who HRH also loves*.
Truthfully, I didn’t expect much but I was very pleasantly surprised. Thankfully, the ‘Renegades‘ songs plays early and is over with – much to HRH‘s delight, of course. But thi is actually where I started to really tune in though with a defiant “Okay boys, what else ya got?” kind of attitude. And as it turns out, they have plenty. There are some nice rhythms happening through ‘Fear‘, ‘Unsteady‘ and ‘Nervous‘, but my favorite moments came with the amazing ‘Gorgeous‘ (like me) and ‘Loveless‘ – believe me, nobody is more surprised than I. In fact, I can actually see myself getting a few more plays out of this in the weeks to come…Jeep commercial song n’ all. Huh. Who knew?
Oh, and about the “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content” label in the corner, when I first saw that I was like all “oh crap” and I really labored how liberal I should be as a step-dad in what I also my step-daughter to be exposed to. I mean, think about it: she gets all worked up first about first finding the album; then the decision to order the album; waiting for it to arrive; arranging to pick it up; get to the store and….fuck. Thankfully, the “explicit parts” are only minimal and typically happen during the brief interludes. And, if I might be honest, those moments were nothing worse than what she’s likely heard Kelly or I drop in those infrequent ‘oopsie‘ moments around the dinner table from time to time. I’m not even sure she noticed.