21st May, 2022
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Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better: – Self Titled Ball Park Music

Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better: – Self Titled Ball Park Music

This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series:
Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better

Hello, and welcome back to me talking admiring smack about a few albums from 2020 for no reason at all. Today’s episode is all a particularly wholesome rant about my favourite album from last year.

Again, here’s the spotify link in case you want to know what I’m on about.

For the sake of context, I will take a moment to fangirl.

I LOVE Ball Park Music. They can do no wrong. I’d die a happy man if I were simply squashed to death in a mosh to the chorus of ‘She Only Loves Me When I’m There’. ‘It’s Nice To Be Alive’ has been a soul-staple since I first heard it as a snotty tween. So this is probably the album of the year for me – definitely of the last half. I found it indescribably comforting overall, and delighting in its details – every listen is a journey of its own. I’d gladly get a tattoo inspired by any song on this album. I think it’s a great culmination of their best sounds throughout their career – but assembled in a way that can clearly stand on its own two feet.

Spark Up!

It was the first single released, and I’d waited excitedly for what felt like an eternity for a new Ball Park song. It’s not anywhere close to my favourite track, though. It has, however, grown on me. In an unpinnable way, I feel it has similar vibes to ‘Hands Off My Body’. My favourite part is where he goes ‘I shouldn’t have to have a crystal clear philosophy, I shouldn’t have to demonstrate that, yeah, we come in peace, I shouldn’t have to squat before you so that you can see, If I’m a good girl; I’m a good girl, fuck you” – the guitar at the end is also pretty cool.

Head Like a Sieve

This is one of my favourites on the album. It’s upbeat, frustrated and fun. I found it to be very suitable for this year lyrically. “I was on the couch regressing into my mind; I was telling everyone I know that I was fine, but I was lying”. The fun little guitar solo at the end is also great, along with the tambourine and space-abduction sounds at the end.

Nothing Ever Goes My Way

Also, one of my favourites. It sounds like the most beautiful temper tantrum. The distorted vocals give it such a dreamy feel which I love. I’m sure we all had plans that got ruined by 2020, so this one gets points for reliability too. The piano solo was an interesting and valued choice, as after that, the song calms down into less of an angry tantrum and more of an accepting reflection.

I Feel Nothing

The guitar and melody in this song are so fun and badass – and compliments again to the (tambourine) chef. This whole album is a dissociater’s paradise, but this song seems the most suitable in that sense. How did they make numbness sound fun and cool? When it comes on when I’m driving, the sheer energy and anticipation I put behind hearing the first line – “Here I am in this godforsaken piece of shit of a situation” is unmatched.

Bedroom

I like how the vocals are isolated in the first verse and how the dreamy tone comes in at the bridge. It truly is a 2020 album. “I need to get out of this bedroom”. We all do.

Katkit

Sparkly sounds make my brain smile, and this is such a relaxing sound, a lovely half-time song. The cut-up orange slices of the album if you will. The next half of the album is a lot less angry and more dreamy.

Cherub

I’ve listened to this one over and over and over; it’s just. Great. Feels like being content and alone in a grassy field while the sun goes down. I’ve never done that, but I KNOW that’s how it feels. I love the chorus lyrically and melodically, and the ending where the extra sounds kick in is so beautiful and conclusion-y. I LOVE the atmosphere of the instrumental on the whole and, putting aside the STUNNING chorus – the third verse is a standout for me: “Happiness weighs a tonne/ It’s all speckled in luck and heavy as fuck/ I never could pick it up/ I’ve been staring at the stars/ They’re spelling out words and waving their wands at me/ I am the chosen one”.

Bad Taste Blues, Pt. III

This is probably my favourite song on the album – it wasn’t when I first listened to it, but it quickly became number one as the already splendid album continued to grow on me. Every single lyric on this track makes me feel all types of ways – it’s genius in the most random way. Fun fact, there is also a Bad Taste Blues part I and II. This is my favourite of the “series”, though (the songs aren’t actually linked). The whole song is perfect, but the first verse is mind-boggling lyrically – so naturally, I tweeted demanding an explanation – they replied with this article.

Obit 2020

This is my least listened to song on the album, for no reason other than I forget it exists. Whatever instrument comes in towards the end sounds really cool, and the band’s banter at the end is fun and light as well, which I found nice.

Day & Age

This has similar vibes to Cherub – if Cherub is a sweet spring sunset, Day & Age is a stunning summer blur, and I love it. I’ve loved Ball Park for years just based on their ability to bring such clear imagery to mind through their lyrics and sound. This is one of those songs where I’d know exactly what picture to paint for every line if I were more artistically skilled. There are sparkly sounds, gorgeous lyrics, and calm guitar. If I had to pick a favourite lyric, it’s: “My mind is filled with rattlesnakes, it’s not a safe place for the kids to play”.

Turning Zero

This song is a fantastic ending song; I think cherub’s cinematic ending would have been great too had they decided to put it there. It’s the most stripped backtrack on the album, and it makes me feel so calm and content inside. Its’s a hug in song form. It’s simple and timeless and hopeful. I cried the first time I heard it because, for no exact reason, it felt like a weight had just come off my shoulders. My favourite part is “sunny weather makes you want to live again, I’m gonna go out tonight”.

It was one of my initial favourites, so I tweeted about this song, and Ball Park liked it, which for me was a massive highlight. 😁

Track Ranking:

  1. Bad Taste Blues, Pt. III
  2. Cherub
  3. Turning Zero
  4. Day & Age
  5. Nothing Ever Goes My Way
  6. Head Like a Sieve
  7. Katkit
  8. I Feel Nothing
  9. Bedroom
  10. Spark Up!
  11. Obit 2020

If you’ve made it this far, you might notice there’s a comment section right there – use it! Please! I’m begging!


“Sam, if you see this, you’re super cool.”

Tyneesha Williams

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