What is 10 for 10? On the tenth of every month I take something really cool, underrated, badass, or worth remembering from ten years ago and tell you about it here, a decade past its prime. You may even notice similar posts pop up on the 20th and 30th of each month. Because as a child I was always told to recycle, and they never said that concept doesn’t apply to gimmicks, too.
Ah the music of 2003…whether you were standing in line to buy Justin Guarini’s self-titled record or S Club 7’s Greatest Hits album, one thing is for certain: the music of 2003 will always be fondly remembered as having existed. But there were a few gems, too, and if you were at your local music shop and your dug your way through enough copies of Clay Aiken’s Measure of a Man or whatever half-assed, self-plagiarising record Dave Matthews Band released that year, you might’ve been lucky to find a copy of an album called Interventions & Lullabies, by a small band called The Format.
The Format is an upbeat, high-energy mix of pop vocals, tight harmonies, and more hooks than a Pirates of the Caribbean casting call, and Interventions & Lullabies is their masterwork. If you’ve heard of the modern-day band, Fun., you will definitely want to check out The Format. I know that because if you like the vocal ability and writing style of .Fun frontman Nate Ruess, you’ll love the vocal ability and writing style of The Format frontman, Nate Ruess.
The Format chose their band name as a way to mock the music industry for the way it felt it had to “format” songs a certain way in order to create a pop hit (make sure to download Fun.’s hit single, We Are Young!); Interventions & Lullabies really showcases this principle with its catchy hooks and memorable melodies laid over an AABA structure for every single one of its 12 songs (that joke was for the music nerds out there, if you didn’t laugh at it, that means you didn’t spend $160K on a music degree…which I think technically makes the joke on us).
Feigned music snobbery aside, Interventions & Lullabies is a terrific album that you won’t regret downloading from iTunes or stealing off of The Pirate Bay. Fun fact: a girl I used to go out with once got sued for downloading illegal music, she went to court to laugh at them for how ridiculous it was to charge one person for a crime that everybody commits and her prosecutors also laughed because they didn’t actually have any evidence against her and were really just trying to make a point, but having been bested by the clever 20-something girl, they decided to just call the whole thing off and then everybody went out for drinks afterward and became best friends. Just kidding they had a massive list of download records and IP addresses and sued her for every bit of 12,000 dollars, which to my knowledge she is still paying back to this day. So ask yourself: how high would the odds have to be stacked in your favor for you to click a download link that might cost you $12K? One in a million? One in ten million? Just saying.
So in closing,The Format put out a record that’s still worth being into ten years after its heyday, and for that, we salute you.
This post was written in the time it took to listen to the first seven tracks of Interventions & Lullabies. What’s your favorite thing from 2003? Tell me about it in the comments section, and if I agree it might just end up as next month’s Ten for Ten.