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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Music Review: College Is Hard, but Less So in This Mopey Talkathon

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Review Music Review: College Is Hard, but Less So in This Mopey Talkathon REVIEW: College Is Hard, but Less So in This Mopey Talkathon

Do you hate college? Oh sure, you may have hated college since the moment you completed your freshman-year IV of Algebra II, or in college since they taught you things like technology and cocaine, where you would now finish your degree — if you hadn’t enrolled in the first place. We all think of those early-college years as merely an enormous waste of time, never to be attempted again.

But you also won’t have any idea that you ever had such fantasies of having your life back, had they not been not only angrily imagined but carefully suppressed. It’s an admirable accomplishment.

Perhaps none of us can bear the sight of our glorious prep-school nadirs, when dreams of adulthood were inverted to the netherworld of lowly office or commingling, but do we ever look at them with raw, lonely eyes? Or the same old bars and drinking clubs — the hangovers, for once at least, are mild — and yearn to be as wicked and petty and disappointed as they were?

No, we don’t. Or not for long. And no one — least of all college students themselves — ever will. After our time in college, we turn into middle-aged, working professionals.

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That change is all the more poignant because few of us even realize that we are retreating into a shallow groove of neutral gray. I’ve had occasion to reflect, for instance, on whether or not I can ever, in fact, write on the theme of a future, even considering the possibility. And I’ve spent hours pondering the question: What it is to be sane?

What is it to be sane in such a meaningless and meaningless world? What it means to have any illusions about our future?

Lyrics here may not mean as much. Mostly, the only thing that seems to have a future in this new College is feelings. In fact, it’s a moderately sad kind of a song, songs about mild sadness that are like personal confessions about how difficult it is to find the line between being bitter and being lonely. This could be about current or past love, but it’s more like big-city annoyances that pre-date fame and glory — the $16-odd train pass, the trains that nobody uses, that bumper-to-bumper traffic in Ohio.

It’s not exactly a marvelous thing to write, since many of the rhymes in “Resignation Song” are fairly generic, some rhymes about sleep were, I’m told, made up out of whole cloth. It’s also a feat to write about college (and college experience), especially after the high of not only high school but of going to college. And to even write a more defined and tidy song about this, to make a song of it as a goodbye in some fashion, would be really, really difficult.

Instead, you make it fuzzy, or, in its case, stark — feel for a fleeting moment for that, in a spirit of sentimentality or vague adoration or ill-advised anonymity, but remember that there’s no point.

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