The Glass Passenger

I love how songs hold memories.

This one CD I’m listening to now is full of early, early college. And because those memories have lasted this long, I feel pretty confident that they will always continue to be that way.

I bought Jack’s Mannequin’s The Glass Passenger as soon as it was released. I remember it rather distinctly: it was a Tuesday morning in late September 2008, and I woke up early for class just to download the album. It was bright outside; I was so excited to buy it. I walked to my 9am Calculus 1 with my headphones in, giving it the first listen. I’d already heard a couple of the songs on there – “The Resolution” and “Bloodshot” had been previously released – but the rest of them – there was such a wonder. One that cannot adequately be described. During the rest of the quarter, I listened to it over and over and over again. I couldn’t walk home from my welding lab (which went til 9pm once a week) without hearing it. I listened to it the night President Obama got elected.

I knew this CD before I knew Davis. Every line means something to me. Each song links to something – baking cookies in my kitchen, walking through one particular parking lot, my very first apartment. It reeks of autumn and youth and discovery and wonder. Later I got to see them perform most of the songs live when Davis took me to their concert in April 2009. I have their t-shirt, and I still love the sweatshirt that I got from their concert (despite its Sharpie marks and rattiness).

I love a lot of CDs. Viva La Vida and Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay, Fractions by Decoder Ring, Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons, even Jack’s Mannequin’s previous album Everything in Transit.  But no CD hits me as hard as this one does.

Andrew McMahon (the lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin) recently decided to do his own thing and start a solo project. So one of my favorite bands is no more. But I have to say, his new stuff is good. I’m really grateful that I have this gem, this glass passenger to keep me company for life and remind me of the early days of college.


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