We’ve all had the feeling.
I ought to do this, I ought to do that. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.
But tomorrow never comes. And after a few days, you start to wonder if you’ll ever get around to that thing after all. And if you do, when? The answer is always today, but the more you play the game, the more you trick yourself into believing tomorrow might be the solution.
I can’t remember when my life started to resemble the cycle outlined above, but I know when I began to come to grips with it. It was shortly after I heard Ought’s sophomore release More Than Any Other Day. It wasn’t that I hadn’t recognized the cycle I was stuck in, but I had finally heard the logic articulated in my native tongue of Rock and Roll.
While those new to Music & Misery may think that last line is a joke, it’s more of an admission. For better or for worse, my life has come to be defined by the music that has validated my worldview. And during a recent phase of my life in which everything was up for question, Ought took over my headphones and threw the questions right out the window.
While More Than Any Other Day officially begins with ‘Pleasant Heart’, the title-track ‘Today More Than Any Other Day’ serves as the proper introduction to the concepts of struggle and survival which are scattered throughout this excellent album.
“We’re sinking deeper
We feel like
We’re sinking deeper”
After taking the listener down a spiral of despair, vocalist Tim Beeler snaps into gear, demanding everyone’s full attention as he launches into an episode of manic inspiration.
“Well, today, more than any other day, I am excited to feel the milk of human kindness.”
This is the entry point into the bleak world represented within More Than Any Other Day. But it isn’t until the fourth mention of today’s exceptionality that listeners are given their first hint of the song’s redeeming message, which is certainly worthy of Beeler’s boastful declaration.
“And today, more than any other day,
I look into the eyes of the old man across from me on the train and say
‘Hey, everything’s gonna be okay!”
This brilliant projection, which juxtaposes the writer and the man on the train with him, is another excellent set-up for the punch-line:
“We’re all the fucking same.”
From the repetitive boredom of grocery shopping (A privilege, really) to those positive interactions with strangers (that we often fail to appreciate) we experience an incredible spectrum of everyday moments in the very same way. And sometimes it isn’t easy.
Some days you may want to hide inside, others you may want to fade away with in the vice of choice, but whatever you are feeling, someone out there has felt it before. Bad days, bad habits, bad feelings. We’ve all had them, and we ought to embrace it.
Today, more than any other day.