Sweet Confusion, You'll Be My Only Child

Writer's Block by Peter, Bjorn and John

I'll be honest here, you probably won't find Writer's Block on any Top Albums of the Noughties of any established, respected, or professional music lists that were compiled at the tail end of last year. This was a purely selfish add-on made by yours truly, because in the end I just felt like putting a thoroughly enjoyable album on my list. It's the least I get for attempting to listen to Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. (You may hush your boos because no one cares.)

I imagine that today, Peter Bjorn and John must regard "Young Folks" as the song with the whistle they simply cannot escape; in their desire to record songs that would be instant pop classics, they may very well have spawned the pop song from hell, something that was so catchy that the rest of the album (and possibly the rest of their careers) was overshadowed. After the umpteenth time I heard "Young Folks" playing on the intercom of JCPenney, I had basically vowed to swear off Peter Bjorn and John. And yet Writer's Block continued to exist in some far corner of my music library, waiting for me to listen to it. So when I finally did, I almost felt punished by how good it was. The fact that I waited three years before ever hearing "The Chills" or "Up Against the Wall" seemed like a crime.

But let's not wax hyperbolic; the most enjoyable aspect of Writer's Block is mainly the fact that it is one of those few albums that sing about love and pull it off. They manage to capture not only the excitement of new romance, but craft songs of the slow downfall of a relationship with just as much care. (If I may gravitate towards the unhappier side of the album, favoring "Let's Call It Off", "Amsterdam", "The Chills" and "Up Against the Wall", it may simply be because moodier songs are naturally precipitous and more enjoyable for me). 

Ultimately, Writer's Block is one of the most enjoyable pop albums you may hear, without eventually grating your nerves. What makes it a classic is its flexibility, as it almost seems to offer no end to soundtracking the various facets of love.

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