Ranking FM Static’s Discography
March 16, 2011Posted by on
With FM Static’s new album, “My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go” set to come out, I thought it would be a great time to look back at their previous work to determine what they have done best and what to expect when their fourth release hits the streets on April 5th. From worst to first, here we go:
#3 Critically Ashamed
All too often the first album that you hear from a band is the one that will stick with you the longest and nostalgia can easily trump actual greatness, but such is not the case here. The sophomore release from FM Static was the first that I actually owned, but the lasting value of Critically Ashamed is the least of the three, thanks in large part to the over indulgence in pop culture references and sappy sentiment that is cute at first, but wears thin over time. Yes, these are songs that are easy to bop the head to and sing along with, but I don’t know if an album can be considered a classic when you have mentions of people that won’t be remembered a few days past their prime, let alone in two decades. There are some interesting songs on here that delve into topics along the lines of love and isolation and really just trying to find a good place to be in our lives, but they don’t have a cohesive theme as the other two albums do. I say these things realizing that among the critics I probably actually like this album more than most of them, but with the realization that although there are some fun pop/rock and pop/punk tracks on here, this album is not as cohesive as the other two.
#2 Dear Diary
Now to contradict myself to find a happy medium. Dear Diary, the third release from FM Static is almost too cohesive. If you have listened to the album you will already know that this album is nothing short of a concept album, telling the story of a young man’s from start to finish. What makes this album so distinct from other albums is also what hinders it the most. As a story, Dear Diary works in great detail and shares the adventures that anyone in their youth can surely relate to if they are seeking after God. Unfortunately, the story is so important to the album that the individual songs can easily take a back seat. What I mean is that what may have worked for the story may not have worked as well if each song were just a song. Still, when I first got this album, I couldn’t stop playing it. Anytime I got a break at work or anytime I was home alone I’d find that I was listening to Dear Diary. I guess I’m just a sucker for a long winded story. It could be C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia or it could be Showbread’s Anorexia/Nervosa or the Star Wars movies, I just like to see where things are going and how they’ll end up in the end. FM Static take a straight forward attempt with Diary at making pop/rock tracks that bring you into the story and don’t let go until we all come to the realization that the answers to our learning about life are in God.
#1 What Are You Waiting For?
I’m waiting for the pop/punk goodness to return to popularity in the scene. Long time followers of CMZ won’t be surprised to read that line. The debut release for FM Static came out not too long before Hawk Nelson and Stellar Kart released their debut albums and the trio at the time were still heavily influenced by the days when pop/punk was still popular enough to have an audience and before they all decided to grow up and play a lot more pop/rock songs. Not only do I favor that style of music, but I also favor the song writing on this album as the theme of youthful experience was heavy way back then, but it also felt a little closer to the topic matter and maybe a little more genuine. Not that on later albums they were faking it, but rather that maybe they were still feeling a little bit of the topics in themselves, rather than exploring what might have been going on in the heads of others. Trying to beat the top of the lineup of the album, from “Three Days Later” to “Crazy Mary” to “Something To Believe In” to “Definitely Maybe”, is quite frankly going to be tough for the band to ever beat. I’m not saying they won’t, I’m saying it will be tough.
Where would you rank each of the three albums and why?