So I just listened to an album by a gentleman named Chris Rea; “Wired to the Moon” is its name, and I must say, I liked this album even before I started listening to it, so charmed was I at the cover (especially considering that a lot of his other album covers are him in various poses). However, I don’t think I listened to it at the right time. I was coming down off the high of more fast-paced, dancey dance music, and the low, easy listening soundscape to which I subjected myself made a contrast that I didn’t really like. Still, I am a mature, unbiased writer, so I should be able to review this album without too much undue unpleasantness. Right?

Being young, and therefore incapable of truly empathizing with any feeling deeper than infatuation, the first thing I thought when I realized the theme of the album was that I might be a bit young to be in Mr. Rea’s intended listening demographic. The theme, by the way, is love, and yes, I know that it’s probably more complicated than that. I’m not a professional music critic, okay?

The album starts with the ostentatious track “Bombollini,” which really comes to life with Rea’s smooth, powerful voice and the accompanying crash of cymbals; I thought it kind of has a “stadium” feel to it, if you get my meaning. With fairly sedate songs in the middle, the album ends on a high note with “Winning,” a neat little way to raise the overall tone of the album. Mr. Rea is a happy man, I guess. All of the other songs, however, were unmemorable when compared to each other, but alone, single-worthy. There’s so little variation, though, that my musical palate was numbed by the time we reached the halfway point. I think I would really dig it if I gave it a second listen.

I completely recommend this album, but only if you’re comfortable with listening to something that expects a little effort on the part of the listener. This isn’t background music, and you can’t dance to it, metaphorically speaking. I guess you can dance if you really want to, but it’ll be a little weird.

Welly welly well, I guess I’m blogging again. I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about Spider Solitaire, a game that is very close to my heart. I like this game because, one, I like spiders; I think they’re rather cool. Two, I played this game more or less my every waking moment when I was in high school on summer break, because I was one of the cool kids. I was so cool, I transcended the very idea of having a clique. As a result, I got very good at the game, insofar as one can get good at a game where there is no appreciable gradation of skill.

One thing that always bothered me about this game, however, is the sheer number of cards involved. If I wanted to play some Spider Solitaire in a non-virtual medium, I’d have a very hard time of things. Find the cards, shuffle them all (for which I’d need hands the size of Frisbees, by the way), find a way to keep the resulting stack from tipping over, spend however many agonizing minutes distributing them each time. Yeah, that’s practical. With that in mind, it just seems weird that we have a card game that’s more easily-played with computerized cards; isn’t the whole point to feel the cards in your hand, as some sort of way to prove that, yes, entertainment can still be tangible? I guess I shouldn’t complain. I am anyway.

On the plus side, at least the cards never get lost. And if you play with the volume on (I crank that stuff, by the way), you can hear the little “tik” the cards make each time you click on them. I realize that this paragraph is one sentence (three, if you count this one and the next one), and the complaint paragraph is seven; that’s because it’s easier to complain than praise. That’s why people do it all the time.

I feel I must warn non-veteran players out there. If you’re thinking of getting into the habit of playing, be careful not to play for more than an hour or so at a time, or else your eyes will start to glaze over, and that’s no fun. It’s very easy to lose perspective when you stare at the same background for so long, watching semi-identical rectangles fly across the screen into neat little piles. I will not be held liable for any injuries you sustain from playing this game. Also, I can’t believe I just wrote an entire blog post on Spider Solitaire. Go me, I guess.