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The Lyndsay Diaries: The Tops of Trees Are on Fire

Jason Thompson

The Lyndsay Diaries

The Tops of Trees Are on Fire

Label: The Militia Group
US Release Date: 2002-11-05
UK Release Date: Available as import

Emo pop. The term brings to mind sensitive, well-mannered songwriters who'd like to win you over with their self confessional, life-draining songs that sound like they were stolen from someone's worn out car trunk or cluttered closet. Emo can be angry. Emo can be smarmy. Emo can be wrongly attributed to bands like Weezer who are far more entertaining and fun than every true emo band out there. Most importantly, emo is about having a good whine and wallowing in the tissues afterward. Consider it an extremely cheap and taxing form of therapy for those who want to wear those cardigans all year long. Mumbling in their coffee cups, noses tucked away inside of some rambling, "important" book while they complain about how the world is such a puzzle and that only their well kept and buttoned down friends will truly understand them. Folks that work the day shift at the Dunkin' Donuts all disgruntled while dreaming of touring Europe someday, getting lost in some English hillsides or Parisian markets still sighing heavily but enjoying the rain more because it's always raining over there, so they are told.

Scott Windsor is the Lyndsay Diaries. Just hearing the "group's" name, you get the feeling that this trip is going to be one of moaning and feeling. Put those nerves right out on the table, Scott. Let us know how you really feel. And boy, does he ever. The first time I played this album, I just popped it into the CD player and thought what I was listening to was a rough-voiced woman. So Windsor has his feminine side in check. I wouldn't have appreciated this disc any more had he been of the fairer sex, as it's far too bland to register any excitement over that which may be generated when shopping for plywood.

Suffice it to say that I really didn't like this album at all. What's wrong this time, you may ask. And I would look at you with a great amount of consternation on my face and simply tell you "everything". I felt like a train had run over me and dragged me 50 miles very slowly after hearing this album. Windsor is one of those people that should record music for himself and keep quiet as far as the public at large goes. Oh, he has his fans, but how anyone could purposely sit through this disc on a regular basis is beyond me. It almost seems masochistic to do so. Windsor may have a lot to confess, but he hasn't anything interesting at all to say. It's like meeting some random stranger and then having it all go very surreal when they start dumping their deepest confessionals on you. Do you care? Of course not. You only just met and already they're creeping you out. Well, listening to The Tops Of Trees Are On Fire is a lot like that.

Windsor makes no attempt at all to make his words seem interesting. They rhyme, but you don't notice because the songs are all too wordy and you're trying to pay attention and not fantasizing about driving into the guard rails because that might make the sounds that more interesting if only through a diversionary tactic. I listened to this album a number of times, trying to get into Windsor's feelings, but I was distracted every single time. The songs just dragged on and on. I'm sure he had something real to say in there. I just couldn't be bothered to care.

And then there's his guitar playing. Pretty much an acoustic rhythm guitar player, Windsor knows about one speed and one rhythm and plays it in each song. After the third track, you really start to become bored and try to get other songs by other people in your head that might make these more palpable. It sounds like Windsor is just standing there, sawing away at his strings. The music isn't bad, but like his lyrics, it fails to make an impression. Jing-jing-jing-jing-jing-jing-jing. That's how the guitar sounds over and over. Then Windsor whines a little bit with his heart all on his sleeve, singing these songs with titles like "Mixtapes and Memories" (how deep), "Paper Airplane Dream" (how "pretty"), "How We Kill Ourselves" (listening to this album is one such way), and "The Consequences of Learning How to Fly" (enough with the cerebral bullshit already, kid). You listen and try to find the way in to enjoy them, but you don't care. There's nothing attractive about any of these songs. No catches, no hooks, no interesting melodies or anything. Just Windsor mumbling into his mug of fresh roast dark blend decaffeinated java.

But that's all right. I daresay you'll be seeking this disc out or having a listen to it elsewhere. If you do already own this and are checking out my thoughts to see if I found any of this enjoyable, you're probably cursing me and are ready to write your bitter correspondence. That's fine. It at least inspires a reaction, which is more than I can say for the Lyndsay Diaries and Scott Windsor's incredibly boring music. Pass on this one, please. You'll have a much better day if you do.

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