This album dropped just over 20 years ago and I was beyond head-over-heals with my longest term of High School girlfriends. This song “Fade into you” perfectly transports me back to my wistful days as a heart-achy youth, just marinating in the brain chemicals of being so smitten. If it wasn’t for work and school, I’d have lounged around all Heroin-addict-style on the crazy high of just… are you digging this air?!?
What’s so funny about this, is it’s only the songs Unpopularity that has managed to perfectly preserve this sense memory of that time and place. If it was anything else, I would have heard it over the years at parties and on the radio and the context of it would have changed. No, this was the exact sound of being just, obsessed with another human being. The sound of endless devotion and bottomless despair for the fact that it wouldn’t last.
We get fewer and fewer of these moments as we go on, while conversely, Gen Y & Z will have more of these sense memory moments. Growing up with the internet means you can find the weird and obscure and the art that perfectly speaks to you. Popular culture has never, at any time, had more AND less draw on people than it does now. Our lives we live in public are more shared than ever, while our private lives are more private too.
Ask anyone 35 and older what song they fell in love to, and ask the same of a 16-year old today. Odds are that everyone knows the first song, I bet you few know the later. What was yours?