The Glow Pt. 2
Originally released in the shadow of 9/11, The Glow, Pt. 2 became an indie classic, a college radio staple, and something people would name drop to make sure you knew what was happening in the world they believed meant everything. Re-released this month on two completely remastered CDs (or three LPs!), the epic disc sounds better than ever; no small achievement for one of the better albums of my youth.
The Microphones hail from a beautiful part of the United States, and it comes blaring through in their mild music. This record has remained quintessential for folkies and rockers alike for years, inj part, due to its melodic greatness that sounds like the very mountains of the Northwest; it rises and falls like a Pacific tide you might take for granted if you see it every day. There’s an ongoing argument amongst music snobs I know; is The Glow, Pt. 2 background music, strictly meant for headphones, or is it just important that it be heard, in any format, any setting? No one will back down, and in the end, it doesn’t matter (but for the record, I vote headphones to fully encapsulate the stereo experience).
The reissue of this album brings even more treasures: new songs, different album art, and backwards tracks (yes, several songs are played in reverse on the bonus disc.) A full album experience in a world of singles and hits that survive for a week with luck, the proven staying power The Glow, Pt. 2 is genius, realized.
When I take off my headphones to leave the coffee shop where I’m writing this review, I will curse the Bryan Adams and honking traffic that are taking me away from where I was, where The Microphones music always takes me. I can’t name the place, but for a little while, things always sound more beautiful, easier, and now, somehow even better than the first time.