In the early 2000’s, while I was a college student at the University of Southern California (and in the time shortly after that), I found that to my astonishment and alarm, my life very closely resembled an album by the band Semisonic , called “All About Chemistry.” Every once in a while, life tends to resemble the music of the time. There are a few reasons why this is so. For one reason, we tend to gravitate towards those songs that resonate with our moods and experiences, and we tend to draw parallels and connections based on on our life experiences and the context in which we are living. As a musical person, I tend to find meaning in the music around me, and those who are similarly musically inclined no doubt feel the same way that I do.
What made this album special to me, and what has made me reflect on it now? The first song, and title track, and first single, off of the album was a very minor hit, getting viewed a few times on various stations within the MTV family, but not really getting any radio play at all. That song, however, was part of the story of my life at the time, and in some ways even now. The singer relates, for example, the experience of an intense chemistry with someone else with whom the chemistry turned very explosive, as well as the experience of being awkward and inexperienced and looking for instruction. I can certainly relate to that sort of sentiment even now, more than a decade after the album was released.
Other songs in the album relate to other experiences of mine. For example, there is the song “She’s Got My Number,” with its reflections on the sensation of waiting for a girl to call, as I remember from a past long distance relationship where I would have to wait for return calls, often while I was driving long distance. There is the song “I Wish” with its intense longing for love and intimacy, the song “Get A Grip” with its commentary on the response of loneliness, and “One True Love” with its reflection of the hope that everyone has someone for them somewhere in the world. There are also such tracks as “El Matador” with its reflection on the fading and ephemeral nature of youth, as well as “Act Naturally” with its examination of relationship drama. All of these are matters I can relate to very well, even now, sometimes even more so now.
Life depends a lot on chemistry. Sometimes that chemistry is good, and we all enjoy that situation. Sometimes the chemistry is not good, and it causes us a lot of complications in our lives. This chemistry need not be romantic chemistry either, but it could be the chemistry that results from any kind of interactions with others. So long as we are careful to what factors lead to our interactions with others taking the courses that they do, we can act effectively in making those relationships as proper and smooth and enjoyable as possible by working on our own share of the matter, the only thing that we can effectively control. Then, no matter what songs and albums remind us of our lives, we can deal with it effectively, whatever the seasons or the reasons.