Best Albums You’ve Never Heard Of: The Rentals – Seven More Minutes #moog @therentals

Best Albums You’ve Never Heard Of: The Rentals – Seven More Minutes

Some records fit us like a glove, regardless of whether or not the lyrics or narrative match up with our life experience. These albums transcend normal connective barriers on the basis that the content has transferable relatability. For me, The Rentals second LP release: Seven More Minutes is that type of album. Whereas a lot of the album deals with a seemingly ongoing long term off and on again relationship with an eccentric American man (front man Matt Sharp) and an easy going woman from Spain, it is oddly approachable and easy to find parallels between Sharp’s tale and segments of your own, especially if you happen to be a bit eccentric yourself (which I totally am).

The Rentals – A Brief History:

The Rentals were formed in 1994 by Matt Sharp, who at the time was a founding member of Weezer and still their bassist at the time. The foundation for the Rentals was sheer elegance in its simplicity: new wave power pop rock infused with Moog synthesizers and dual male/female vocals. At the time, their debut album Return of the Rentals was a breath of fresh air. So much of the mid 90’s alternative FM radio scene was fraught with the prototypical popular Grunge (Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots), Industrial (Nine Inch Nails, Ministry) and mainstream Punk (Green Day, the Offspring) sounds, that when the Rentals debut single “Friends of P” became a hit, it sent a huge message to the industry that the listeners were hungry for a different sound. Bouncing off from there, the Rentals released Seven More Minutes in 1999. Unfortunately, Seven More Minutes, although a wonderfully fantastic album, did not catch the radio play that the debut did, and as such did not receive the level of love nor success that it should have at the time. The Rentals went on hiatus for a long while, but then returned (see what I did there) in 2014 for their latest release Lost in Alphaville. I heartily recommend all 3 albums, and should you want to know more about the Rentals (as well as being able to purchase a lot of their songs that never made it onto their 3 LPs), check out their official website! All that you really need to know is that the Rentals are awesome, and that they are the best thing that could have happened to Matt Sharp!

What I love about Seven More Minutes:

Seven More Minutes is the tale of Matt Sharp coming of age, of having accumulated enough life experience to start feeling old and wizened. As this lyric from Getting By (featured above) suggests he had been struggling with this feeling for some time, “lately I’ve felt like an old fat man. With her I lie and say, I’m a young fool.” In a lot of ways I identify with that sentiment of feeling older, rightfully older than I ought to, but when around others I am more youthful, energetic and fun. It’s not that I put on an act, per say, I am just a quiet and mellow person by default that spends his energy creating stuff and reflecting on a lot of things when I am alone, however I am happy (usually – your results may vary upon meeting me) to engage with others when meeting friends or in a gathering. In the end, it’s connections such as these that keep me coming back to Seven More Minutes. Whether it’s relating to the sleep deprivation of Insomnia, the need for peaceful alone time in My Head Is In the Sun, or the finality of Say Goodbye To Forever, I am always able to find some part of this album that connects to my personal experiences. Take a listen to The Cruise (and now I want to go an another cruise…thanks Rentals!):

I have never been involved in a whirlwind international relationship, but I can connect the dots that the lyrics in Seven More Minutes lays out and easily apply them to circumstances within my own experience. Some of my favorite recordings are the ones that I can identify with, even if I’m twisting their meaning to suit my purposes. In the end, music is a subjective art form which is why 10 people can hear the same song and each can have a different reaction to the instruments, rhythm, singing and lyrics. Seven More Minutes hits all of my emotional buttons. And before you start to wonder if this is a sad album, don’t get yourself too worked up. Like most pop music, it is complex emotions ranging the gamut from happiness all the way to sadness in a sugar coated flavor of power pop. It perfectly represents the age old question: did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music? You’ll never be able to answer that question and that’s why pop music works, if you like it, it’s whatever you need it to be. Right now I need it to be super hyper new wave music to hop around to at a break neck pace, so I will jam to Insomnia:

It’s not all power pop on Seven More Minutes, as there are breaks for a more relaxed style as well. Here on My Head Is In The Sun, they deal candidly with making time for yourself and wanting to hold on to that time, even if just for seven more minutes. It’s a warm and deeply personal song that serves as a reminder that no matter how hectic your life gets, you have to make time for yourself to regain your sanity and to let go of things that may be holding you back from accomplishing what you would truly like to be doing. I think we all can relate to needing more time alone and away from the all the distractions in this world.

I heartily recommend the Rentals – Seven More Minutes to all lovers of good power pop/rock tunes. It is a high quality album from start to finish with no throwaway cuts, and is sure to spin in heavy rotation in your library. It has an incredible new wave feel to it, offers up a bevy of dual male/female vocals (which if you read my post about Codeine Velvet Club, then you already know that I am huge fan of that!) and has some of the best Moog playing that you’ve ever heard. Seriously, buy all 3 of their albums today!

As a parting gift, take a listen to 1000 Seasons, a cut from the Rentals latest album – Lost in Alphaville:

Related posts

Leave a Reply