The Comeback

Have you seen that movie The Rookie with Dennis Quaid? When I think of comebacks, that film always pops into my head. You might think of a different film like Rocky Balboa or Crazy Heart. But when someone still has a fire in them to keep going, that’s a cool thing and it inspires me to not stop and to keep going. We all need that. That’s one unspoken factor for me that made Johnny Cash’s music in his later years so powerful. He still had a song to sing into his twilight years.

There’s a lot of artists who still have something in them to express to the world. Sometimes though, that expression needs a little work before it’s showcased. I think this is what kills a lot of “comebacks” from people that were popular or famous years ago (ie Britney Spears, Tiffany, Billy Idol, etc). Or perhaps it could be that there was not much left in the tank and they needed money. That happens too.

I say all of this because I’ve been listening to some new music and noticed two types of comebacks that are happening around us. One is the aforementioned artist comeback. Electronic-Fusion rock was a hit style in the 90s. One band that put that flavor of music on everyone’s menu was Garbage. In that decade they were tops. In the 2000s they suffered to keep the same kind of pace commercially that they had years earlier. 2005 was the last the world heard them….until now. This year the quartet released their first album in a long time titled Not Your Kind Of People. It’s a great release, capturing that iconic sound that Garbage had and adding some new seasonings to make it fresh once again. Be sure to check it out for yourself.

Also, I just received the new album from Punk Rock legend Joey Ramone called “…Ya Know?” All in all it’s a cool release that brings back some of the classic Ramones style in melody and tempo, and it also has some nice tracks with an acoustic feel. Joey wrote simple tracks that don’t dive into deep water lyrically, but that’s not the path that the Ramones traveled on anyways. It’s just enjoyable, good music. Tragically Joey passed from us in 2001, so this posthumous release just goes to show that great music never dies.

Another type of comeback that we’re all experiencing (whether we realize it or not) is one that involves style. It’s funny, I think about ten years ago or so most people I knew would cringe and make funny faces when the 1980s would come up in conversation, whether it be a talk about bands from that era, fashion, or movies and TV. I’m a child of the 80s, so I haven’t ever looked back and been overly critical (with a few exceptions-mullets are funny but not fashionable in my opinion regardless of the era). I liked hairbands, metal, the movies that made Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, and Van Damme famous, and I really dig the 80s TV shows like Airwolf, Knight Rider (when they knew how to do it right, a Mustang as KITT is ridiculous), and Alf to name a few. But a lot of those 80s musical styles are really making a comeback. So are the video games of the 80s, which is something I thought would never happen considering the awesome technology of Playstation and XBox. But the old NES, Super Nintendo, Sega, and all that are trending. Who knew? Oh and that theme to Airwolf is still my favorite instrumental theme song. It’s awesome.

I picked up this cool track from a band called Chairlift and as I listened to their stuff, I wondered if they were an older act making a comeback, or what. Turns out they’re not. They’re a new group that loves that sound. Who can blame them, they do it well. What are some other comebacks you’re noticing? Feel free to comment here.

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Host of the syndicated radio program The Appetizer heard on public radio across Texas and online from our Listen Now link; enjoys conversations, music, food, art, storytelling, and people. Connect with me. Would love to hear from you.

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