After releasing People Are Alike All Over I was definitely proud of my work, but I was concerned with what people thought of it. In particular, someone on Reddit said that they enjoyed the album, but suggested trimming the bass/re-equalizing the album. I was fully conscious of how I mixed it; the bass engulfing the listener being a stylistic choice. However, that didn’t stop a part of me from wanting to please this stranger and that maybe I should go back, re-mix, and re-release the album.
I listened and re-listened to the album with an observant ear over the next several months trying to find things to fix, but truthfully wanting to have an experience with the album where I came away from it thinking something along the lines of, “Wow, that was just how I wanted it to be. That guy from Reddit was wrong”. It got close to that, but I would always find some small imperfection where a part of me wanted to fix it and a part of me thought it gave it extra personality. I eventually recognized that I was driving myself crazy and it was time to stop. So I stopped listening to the album, at least until I found I had reason to or unforcedly felt like it.
In March, I got three copies of People Are Alike All Over on vinyl. Hearing it on an LP was hands-down the best listen of the album I’ve ever gotten in. I settled down in the garage with some tea, my laptop, and my cat and got through the whole thing. The street was serendipitously quiet; all I heard was the record. I remember thinking that it somehow felt like I was listening to some old, obscure record found in an abandoned chest in the forest somewhere. That listen had a magical quality to it. Everything about the moment felt genuinely perfect.
That was the moment when I accepted People Are Alike All Over for what it is. I’m not exactly sure why that was the time it happened (maybe it had to do with not having listened to it in quite a while or experiencing it on a record) but it was the right time. Don’t get me wrong — it’s always been a special album for me and it was a ton of fun to make. I knew what I wanted out of that album and I accomplished those goals. However, it wasn’t until then, seven months after I released it, that I fully embraced all of the album, its imperfections included, regardless of anyone else’s opinion.
The conclusion that was birthed that day was that anyone can inevitably pick out flaws from any piece of art. What really matters is the meaning of the art to the artist and where it came from. If people can connect to it, that’s awesome. The true prize, though, is what People Are Alike All Over means to me. And it means a whole hell of a lot.