Throwback Thursday: AM Radio

I’ve got this mix I put together about five years ago which I creatively titled “Life Altering Songs,” comprised of completely random songs that just so happened to be on heavy rotation in my CD player (remember those?) when I was going through some sort of relevant rite of passage in my life.

amradio2For example, “On Bended Knee” by Boyz II Men is on the list because that’s the song I danced to with my first big crush at a junior high dance. “Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd burned all summer long in the months immediately following my high school graduation. And “I Just Wanna Be Loved” by AM Radio hit me as I began my student teaching experience and fell out of love with a college girlfriend.

There’s a lot of emotional reminiscence wrapped up in that song, folks, but it wouldn’t mean half as much if the song itself wasn’t absolutely perfect musically. It simultaneously reminds me of something from the 1960s and the 1990s, despite the fact that AM Radio’s album “Radioactive” was recorded in 2003. It rocks, but it’s under control. The hook hits with a melody that turned into earworms more times than I can count. It’s one of the few times in my life that I’ve been able to put a song on repeat and just let it run.

I seriously love the song.

The rest of the album is solid, too. It’s early millennium pop-rock, like something in between Hoobastank and the Juliana Theory, and every song on the record has legitimate toe-tapping potential. Highlighted by “Hush,” “This is the End of the World,” and “Becoming You,” the album is definitely worthy of some extended play on an iPod. Or CD player, if you do, in fact, remember those.

Trimmed down to two members and experimenting with a new musical style with 2009’s “Bigger Better Bolder Brighter,” but it’s “Radioactive” that holds such a special place in my heart and my memories. Maybe if my dog dies or something while I’m listening to the new record I’ll find a way to get it into regular rotation, but for now “I Just Wanna Be Loved” will remain my favorite AM Radio song.

About the Author

Joel Brigham writes about stuff. It’s pretty much all he cares about. Stuff like music and more music. But he mostly cares about music. And also music.

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