Whoo boy, these next three albums are going to be hard to write about. Starting with War Paint as the example, my three favorite albums of 2011 were so immensely touching to me that it's hard for me to sit here and say why or what or even how an album like War Paint and I connected. Which, fine, is a cop-out. I understand that. I also understand that whatever I say here would be so outlandishly personal and crybaby-ish that I'm just not that comfortable having anyone else read it.
As a person who still doesn't understand irony, I'll go on a limb and say that's irony when discussing a record like War Paint. There is literally nothing left to the imagination here, which is why I tend to find myself connecting with the more in-your-face variety of songs ("Miscommunication" or "No One's Gonna Need You More" or "War Paint"). Perhaps my favorite lyric from the whole thing comes early, in "War Paint" when AJ Perdomo sings, "Remember when we first met, we were alone?" And I guess to me that kind of sums this whole thing up. You have to be alone before you can stop being alone. You can't let the lack of people in your life keep you from ever having people in your life. I think it becomes increasingly easy to stick with your own personal status quo, and that scares the fucking crap out of me. War Paint, after lots and LOTS of listens, kind of became a sort of rallying cry - it might sound stupid and overly trite, but The Dangerous Summer created more than an album for me. They crafted a handbook for getting better and moving forward. Sometimes it doesn't have to be complicated. Sometimes, we just need to remember that although we can stand on our own, we don't always have to.