An Entire Album About My Ex-Girlfriend, the debut album from Houston post-punk rockers Something Else, is an amalgam of songs compiled over the course of five years. Unlike most bands, the bassist, Ben Whelan, serves as the principal songwriter.
Despite the album’s (long) title, only the first track, “There’s a Rumor”, is about an actual ex-girlfriend. It is a song of jealousy; singer Roy Jang is pleading for a man to “leave her just for (him)”. The song, shortest on the album save an interlude, flies by and transitions nicely to the darker-hued “Losing (Failure)”. The chorus of the aforementioned song succinctly describes the ethos of the band: “Come / Have some fun / While we’re young / We’ve got time to play the game“.
What follows is probably the best track on the album: the impeccable “Don’t Want It”. It sounds like a very good Strokes track in the best of ways. Like “There’s a Rumor”, the song focuses on relationships, in this case the ambivalent feelings surrounding a breakup. When a breakup happens, there is never truly a complete separation. A piece of the other person goes along with you. The guitar solo in this song is triumphant yet somehow melodic and mournful, which reminded me of some great Beach House guitar riffs (see “Space Song” or “Beyond Love”).
After an interlude and the two-part song “Levitation”, another song about relationships, begins the darker half of AEAAMEG. To me, “Porcelain” and “Watermelon Candy” are two sides of the same coin: they both start in B minor and deal with feelings of paranoia. In “Porcelain”, that paranoia comes from the internal psyche, while in “Watermelon Candy” the paranoia is external; it comes in the form of a watermelon candy edible. The supremely catchy “Would he call the cops? / Would he tell my mom? / Woah-o, he might / Woah-o, he might” on “Watermelon Candy” is one of the highlights of the album.
Then there is the hard-hitting “Isolation” (possibly inspired by the Joy Division song of the same name?). This song deals with feeling isolated after a breakup. The heavy layered guitars on the chorus and slinky bassline on this track are a real treat.
After an Interpol-esque interlude warning that the end is near is the serene, mostly acoustic “What’s Left Behind”, which may as well be a lyrical companion piece to “Don’t Want It” as it also deals with breakup. Then, the album ends with some guitar flourishes.
Overall, this album is a very satisfying listen and it is obvious that lots of care went into each track. Sonically, the bass is booming and the guitars cut through the mix like a knife.
Scott’s Spectacular Song Selections include: “Losing (Failure)”, “Don’t Want It”, “Porcelain”, “Watermelon Candy”, “Isolation”, and “What’s Left Behind