Set Phasers to Stun
A Decade Under the Influence
I remember buying Where You Want to Be at Best Buy in the $9.99 section soon after it came out. It hit #3 on the Billboard charts in the first week, signifying emo’s takeover of the mainstream, an unthinkable feat to me at the time. But with the look of all these sensitive gloom-rockers, their black-painted nails, black-bobbed haircuts and black eyeliner, they were essentially the natural next step in manufactured boy bands. I always dug this type of music though, it’s typically not your typical 3-chord 4/4 rock in a major scale, and it’s refreshing to me to hear groups try and break out of the status quo. But then emo turned itself into the status quo of the early 2000s, churning out countless dopey teen rockers taking themselves entirely too seriously; rock’n’roll is supposed to be fun after all. And so a trend being a trend, MTV latched on and that marked the death knell of the ‘M’ ever being associated with the ‘TV.’
The first couple of tracks on Where You Want to Be I can’t help but still like. I never make it through the entire album though, and I’d rather disassociate the music from the images. However that would be untruthful. They are who they are.