After two EPs and about a year of deciding what songs to include on my first full-length album, my visions finally became a reality with ONE DAY AT A TIME AND NO ALTERNATIVES. This 10-song album reflects a change in perspective for me. Yes, it's true that the title of my copyright and record imprint was Depressing Songs to Slit Your Wrist To (which was intended as a sarcastic joke about the melancholy nature of my early songs), but now it's Made to Make Music. After a while, I realized that writing sad songs isn't really something I want to be remembered for. Not that I have anything against sad songs, but I've just grown tired of singing them, and so I'm now trying to take my music into a more positive direction without seeming too utopian or hippie-ish.
The result is ONE DAY AT A TIME AND NO ALTERNATIVES, ten tracks and forty-four mintues of diverse pop songs that capture the feeling of someone learning more about life and love and God every day.
It opens with "The Eye of the Beholder," a six-minute-plus acoustic-guitar-based epic which rides on a beautiful, melodic riff and encourages listeners to get up and do something with their lives, despite whatever fears might be holding them back ("By striving for perfection/You're preventing progress as a person").
Next is "Fighting in a War," a laidback track which rides on a rolling 6/4 rhythm and wrestles with feelings of insecurity and loneliness before finally accepting that "I'm fighting in a war/That I'll probably never win/With the one defense I have/A piece of paper and a pen."
The jangly "Bottomless," one of the poppiest songs on ONE DAY A TIME..., is about coming out of a depression, and joyously accepting the fact that sadness is just a part of life ("I could reach my greatest dreams/And still be unsatisfied").
After these three gentler songs, ONE DAY A TIME... takes a complete left turn and launches into "Conventional Beauty," a ferocious punk-pop tune that decries the superficial, magazine-oriented definition of beauty, and exclaims that "A girl who's smart and so profound/The kind who's fun to be around/She don't know it/But that girl is priceless."
The next song, "For Taryn," continues in this vein: a stomping, melodically inventive rocker about realizing the stupidity of sibling rivalry ("After years of keeping hold/I think it's time to let it go").
The rest of the album carries on in a quieter mood, beginning with "Love Song #3," a brief but telling song that looks at the bright side of ending a relationship ("I always thought that I would cry/When and if that day arrived/But as I recall we were laughing all the way.")
Next is "Life Support Love Song," a driving, minimalist six-minute-plus epic that continues the theme of "Love Song #3": "I think it's better this way/And I've got a feeling you're feeling the same/So let us part now before it's too late/Before you break and I asphyxiate."
On the other side of the spectrum, the acoustic, waltzing ballad "Love Song #1" is about being completely devoted to someone even in times of trouble, and admits that "I cannot say that it will all be fixed/But I can say that as long as I'm alive/I love you."
"Tell Me If I'm Still Your Friend" is a surging, gorgeous epic that talks about the heartbreak of rejection, but ultimately realizes that "It's OK that you crushed my heart/You didn't know that your foot was there."
ONE DAY AT A TIME... ends jubilantly with "Another Song of Celebration," a concise, upbeat pop song that oozes with happiness and strength in the face of adversity ("Is it worth being miserable just to match the stormy weather?").
ONE DAY AT A TIME AND NO ALTERNATIVES is an unpretentious, uplifting, and thought-provoking album that will hopefully get you to see things in a different way.