Thanks to Simon for the tip.
I haven't looked out for an Annie record in years. The early 2000s really were a magical time. Not just because I was young. When it comes down to it, 2002 was the best year in pop/r&b since 1983. Believe it.
And also, 2006 was the year it all started to go wrong. At least that is the conclusion I have come to after talking to many people, some of whom are significantly older and younger than myself.
Though that has nothing to do with Annie, except, well, I think that period, encapsulated by Anniemal, Body Language, etc., when pop and the underground were in discourse, was really special. I mean, if you actually were waiting around for another Neutral Milk Hotel album then instead of tracing the suddenly-reactivated connections between Jamaica, London, New York and Virginia, sorry. I mean, there are few moments in my life when I can claim now that I was right, or even, RIGHT. Like, objectively. For REAL. And one of them, well, I bought a Yo La Tengo album and a Photek album on the same day at some point in the mid-1990s, one was the beginning and one was the end. You know? And the early 2000s certainly validated that feeling for me more than any other time.
Yes, it's another retro-pastiche. Check the following for sartorial accuracy:
But there is only one valid reason to return to the past, and that is to put oneself on a new road to the future. The 1990s weren't better. I'm sure people were still full of shit, just like now. But what people in the 1990s believed was possible is surely better than what exists now. And, more importantly, what we now believe is possible.
And what's more, this record actually understands all that, actually encapsulates it. In that sense, and in many others, it is vastly superior to "Get Lucky", seriously, one of the worst records I have ever heard in my lifetime, which posits sex, personal pleasure, as the endpoint of a night out. "Back Together" knows there is more, that one can't pretend that "the dance is just a dance", that another world is still possible, and that the dancefloor is the best space we have created towards realizing it.