Hum-"You'd Prefer an Astronaut"Many rock bands released short-lived masterpieces in the ྖs. One album I have always enjoyed and believe should have gone gold is, "You'd Prefer an Astronaut," by Hum. It had the hit song "Stars" but only sold around 200,000 copies.Hum's sound has fallen into the "spacerock" category even though the members thought it was a mistake. "Astronaut" was their debut album on the major record label RCA. The company signed Hum for their rock style. They were not just another alternative band hoping to get on the mainstream bandwagon. They wanted to give the world a taste of their influences all mixed together.In the nine songs, the guitars are loud and heavy. When not noisy, they are soft, sad and moving, as in "The Very Old Man" and "Songs of Farewell and Departure." Overall, the songs are melodic as they take you to another world with "Why I Like the Robins" and "I'd Like Your Hair Long." Their guitars are under the influence of flanger, phaser, and distortion pedals and together they make the most beautiful noise. The sci-fi lyrics are meaningless and there are no hidden messages in the artwork of the cover (a zebra with a plain green background).I recommend this record to anyone who likes to hear new and interesting sounds. The songs get you going and none sound alike. Even though this album came out in ྛ, it's always good to flash back and listen to how much rock has branched out and mixed with other categories of music. .
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.