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Friday, January 24, 2014

"You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight" by The Juliana Theory

Today's guest post was written by our dear friend Jason Sherman:

Our tastes in music change throughout our lives. When I was 15, I was obsessed with Creed (Yes, I know. But come on, Human Clay still has its moments!). When I was 20, I grew a love for Incubus (They're fallen off the map thanks to deciding that they'd rather write the next great pop song). But it's rare to have one band hold the test of my musical time. The Juliana Theory is one of those bands for me.

I started listening to The Juliana Theory in part because of one of the owners of this blog recommended them. We were hanging at his house as 15/16 year olds and I remember hearing one of their most well-known songs "Into the Dark" play on the computer. Something caught my ear about it so I went home and downloaded (cough cough illegally) The Juliana Theory's second CD Emotion is Dead.
I didn't quite understand the "emo" phase yet, so The Juliana Theory's sound felt so new to me. The voice of Brett Detar was really impressive. The band's sound had quite a few unique layers to it. It was rock, but with a hint of vodka and lime. I couldn't explain it, but it just felt right to listen to.

And then came the next-to-last song on the album, "You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight". The first notes are purely slow piano. It leads into Detar softly signing the first line: "Did you really think that it was over when you hung up the phone....and said goodnight?"

When you are a young adult, don't lines like that sum up your adolescence?

For the next three and a half minutes, Detar professes how he wants to keep a dying relationship going. And the word "goodnight" was the bond that kept it together and ironically, as that first line hints, is also the word that means the end. And at the 3:55 mark, as the music halts for a moment and Detar whispers one last goodnight, the rest of the band comes in and the song begins an unbelievable climax. To this day, I get goosebumps every single time the song transitions to this moment.

Then comes some of the most beautiful music I had ever heard. There's Detar hitting the highest notes you'll ever from him. There's a wonderfully melodic guitar solo. Everything just feels perfect for five minutes. And when the nine minute mark comes, we go back to the beginning. Just soft piano. It's beautiful, and epic, and the song takes me to a uniquely peaceful place.

The Juliana Theory produced a few more albums and sadly, broke up a few years ago. They always had grinded through the emo years but for some reason, they never broke through it.  I was one of the lucky ones that understood their sound. "You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight" marked their peak. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

So when I put on my song of the day, some of those emotions I had 10+ years ago are still with me today.  And even though I've grown up, "You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight" still takes me back through my evolution.

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