Growing Up 90’s: Gin Blossoms- “29”

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“Time won’t stand by forever

If I know it’s true

And I’ve learned not to say never

Or else I’ll seem the fool

Twenty-nine, you’d think I’d know better

Living like a kid

‘Cause when my lies may seem less than clever

Is when I fall for it”

Gin Blossoms are one of my favorite bands from the 90’s, and when I got their breakthrough New Miserable Experience on cassette after it came out in 1992, it left a lasting mark on my taste in music. For my money, contemporary rock music has never been so rife with talent, and has never been so utterly enjoyable than it was with this band.

I finally got to see them in concert a couple times over the past few years, and was blown away by how amazing they still were. That feeling was only compounded by the fact that I had been listening to them for over twenty years, and had no idea where all that time went. From the record that spawned hits like the timeless “Hey Jealousy,” “Found Out About You,” “Until I Fall Away,” and the impossibly catchy “Allison Road,” my favorite has still always been “29.”

“Only time will tell

If wishing wells will bring us anything

Or fade like scenes from childhood dreams

Forgotten memories”

Written by the Tempe, Arizona band’s guitarist Jesse Valenzuela, and done great justice by the smooth and inviting vocals of singer Robin Wilson, “29” is an emotional, melodic tune that addresses everything young adults grapple with as time keeps moving faster than they can go along with it – having to grow up, fear of the future, and the remaining attachment to the past.

“Some rides don’t have much of a finish

That’s the ride I took

Through good and bad and straight through indifference

Without a second look

There’s no intentions worthy of mention

If we never try

So hang your hopes on rusted-out hinges

And take ’em for a ride”

The lyrics of “29” are the most beautiful and poignant that can be found anywhere on the record, and when you listen to the song, they have this inexplicable power associated with them, and you’ll find yourself taking a good, hard look at your life – contemplating what you’ve done and what you’re going to do. Whether you’re starting a new venture in life, trying to let go of something in your past, or just daydreaming about the ups and downs of it all, this song was written for you.

“29” is a hidden gem buried deep on the track listing of an incredible album, and it was not even penned by either of the band’s primary songwriters on New Miserable Experience. This song gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it (a frequent occurrence), and I have a feeling it will do the same for you. Mr. Valenzuela crafted a brilliant song here – complete with perfectly introspective lyrics and the whimsical, relaxing sonic twang that became the band’s signature – and the supremely talented Gin Blossoms brought it to life. Thanks for this one, guys.

 

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