My Top 100 Best Albums

thelastdogandponyshow-567x560Bob Mould – The Last Dog and Pony Show (RykoDisc)

1998’s The Last Dog And Pony Show was Mould’s ostensible farewell to his punk-rock past and guitar-hero persona. Demoralized by the whims and indignities of the music industry, Mould had decided (prematurely, it turns out) that he was finished. The premise is intriguing but ultimately too much of this material comes across as defeated rather than valedictory. On songs like opener “New #1” and “First Drag Of The Day” Mould’s approach feels perfunctory, as if not the work of the artist himself, but instead a highly lifelike simulation. It’s not a bad album, but one that ultimately seems a little bloodless.

For me, this is a very personal album.  I listened to it a lot when I was going through a break up.  It starts with Moving Trucks, a song about the end of a relationship, those final moments when you are standing at the doorway watching as your partner’s thing, and part of your life, if packaged up and shipped out.  The empty spaces it leaves are the voids you now must fill.  The album then travels through the inevitable stages of a breakup.  Sorrow, anger (Taking Everything, Who was Around? ); trying to move on (First Drag of The Day); self destruction (Skintrade – where the protagonist tries out prostitution to fill his longing); rebounding (Classifieds); and philosophy and acceptance (Reflecting Pool, Along the Way).  Yes you could argue that I’m overlaying my own experiences onto this album, that the themes and the intentions of the songs are different but that’s what makes this album so good.  It’s an ‘everyman’ effort for any situation.

Artist: Bob Mould
Release date: 25 August 1998
Producer: Bob Mould
Label: Rykodisc
Genre: Alternative rock

Tracks :
New #1 – 4:47
Moving Trucks – 3:30
Taking Everything – 3:26
First Drag of the Day – 4:29
Classifieds – 3:04
Who Was Around? – 4:08
Skintrade – 5:43
Vaporub – 4:05
Sweet Serene – 3:26
Megamanic – 3:39
Reflecting Pool -3:39
Along the Way – 4:21

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