geoffrey gauchet

Wherein I Attempt to Listen to an Entire Journey CD

If you know me at all, chances are you know I despise Journey. I've never been a fan and could never tolerate them. I'm not really sure what it is I don't like about them, but, the fact is, never have liked them and could never understand why people love them so much.

Then, for my birthday this weekend, my always-thoughtful friend Jon gave me Journey's Greatest Hits, which, much to my surprise, actually has 16 tracks. It was funny, I laughed, and then I plotted the disc's demise.

I considered never opening it so that no one could ever suspect me of being a fan, but then they might also think it's some rare misprint edition that I wanted to keep in the original shrinkwrap, so I wasn't sure I wanted to do that. Then I realized that really, the only time I've ever listened to Journey was when some drunk jackass had a dollar burning a hole in his pocket and decided to play one of three songs on the jukebox at the bar.

So, in the privacy of my car, I put the Journey Greatest Hits CD in my CD player. At first glance, the packaging (excluding the artwork) is pretty cool. It's cardboard (so one could recycle it, I guess?), and has a neat slide-out flap thing. At least their marketing guy isn't a moron.

From here, I'll walk you through my Journey journey.

1. "Only the Young"
I think I've heard this one before. It was boring. "Anyone could've written this song!" I got 1:11 into this one, only because I had to grab my parking pass and swipe it to exit the parking garage at work, which added about 35 seconds to my listening time.Total Listening Time: 1:11

2. "Don't Stop Believin'"
I've always hated this song. It took me 57 seconds to remember that again. I'll admit, my hand tapped the steering wheel during the intro. You know, if I had watched the series finale of "Sopranos", I probably wouldn't have known that they just cut to black in the middle of a sentence, because I would've just turned off the TV right as this song started playing. So, really, I would've had the same ending.Total Listening Time: 0:57

3. "Wheel in the Sky"
I wasn't appalled at this one. It's not horrible, and the chorus is awfully catchy. I actually listened to this one all of the way. If it were on in a bar and I was drinking, I wouldn't belligerently yell about it.Total Listening Time: 4:13

4. "Faithfully"
Ugh, a ballad. It was in this song where I decided that Steve Perry's voice sounds like a cross between Rod Stewart and Michael Bolton. "Let's mash-up two piles of suck to make one ultra pile of suck!"Total Listening Time: 0:22

5. "I'll Be Alright With You"
Bored.Total Listening Time: 0:14

6. "Any Way You Want It"
This is another one that if it's on in a bar and the congregation isn't stupidly singing it in unison, I can ignore it.Total Listening Time: 1:31

7. "Ask the Lonely"
This sounds like it was used in a few 80s movie montages. That doesn't make it good. Another one anyone could have written.Total Listening Time: 0:31

8. "Who's Crying Now"
The lack of a question mark leads me to believe he's going to tell me who is crying now and isn't asking, but I couldn't be bothered to figure that out. The songs pretty boring. Just couldn't wrap my head around what I was supposed to be caring about. The listening time on this will be off because I hit a bump in the road and the disc skipped ahead like 4 seconds.Total Listening Time: 0:47*

9. "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"
Ok, this synth is pretty cool sounding. Where are they going with this? Hm, that riff ain't too bad either. Is this an instrumental? I could dig tha—dammit! I'll bear with it. Sounds like it's building up to something big. Wait, the build up was to something NOT epic? Meh.Total Listening Time: 1:25

10. "Lights"
What?! Another ballad? I swear, if Rhea ever makes me slow dance to a Journey song, we'll probably have to start going to marriage counseling because I'll stop speaking to her, like in that one episode of Roseanne where DJ stops talking for two whole days and no one notices because they're all too busy to care. People voluntarily put this specific track on? I could take a nap to this though.Total Listening Time: 1:18*

11. "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'"
Boy, Journey sure does love dropping the "g" from their gerunds! I've heard this one. Is it on Rock Band or something? Wait! This is on Rock Band! This is a dude?! And Journey?! HAHAHAHA! I thought it was a woman who smoked a lot.Total Listening Time: 0:44

12. "Open Arms"
This piano opening sounds like one the previous piano openings. It also sounds like ballad number three. Or four. Who cares? There's some crappy whining noise on the recording. Surprisingly, it's not Steve Perry. It's just a crappy recording. Recording engineer probably used the last 3 minutes of tape to record this, so the tensile strength of the tape was being tested. I bet he hoped it would pop.Total Listening Time: 0:47

13. "Girl Can't Help It"
By title alone I can only imagine this will be a gem. Medium-paced song. Bored already. 17 seconds in and ready to change it. Trying to resist. Too close to the end of the album. Must … can't….Total Listening Time: 0:27

14. "Send Her My Love"
Something tells me this is love he's having sent is unrequited. Ballad four or five or something. Skipping ahead to chorus. Nope, no better.Total Listening Time: ~0:57(Took out time skipped)

15. "Be Good to Yourself"
Whoa, running the pick down the strings to open this one! Journey means effing business! I feel like a lot of people have washed a car while listening to this one. Maybe lip syncing into the sponge. I could ignore this if it were on in a crowded bar, but not in someone's car.Total Listening Time: 1:42

16. "When You Love a Woman"
I've made it to the last track, amazingly. …and it's another damned ballad with a slow piano intro. Maybe it's one of those songs that has a bad ass outro because it's the final track. If the guy who mastered this album knew what he was doing, I won't be let down. Skipping at 0:25 seconds… final 40 seconds of the track… Skipping to final 20 seconds… What? He just held down the final note until it faded out?! Come on, seriously? Start out slow and mopey and then at the bridge between the third and fourth verses, get really angry at this woman and just go hog wild and explode my speakers, Steve Perry! Ugh, horrible. Granted, this might not have been the final track on the original album, but come on!Total Listening Time: ~0:47

Well, there you go. I made it through a Journey album, sorta. The total running time for the CD is 1:05:25. I listened to a total of 17:50, which works out to about 27.26% of the entire CD.

I always thought the reason I hated Journey was because of Journey fans, and while that still holds true for the big radio singles that get played in bars and at weddings all the time, the biggest reason I don't like Journey is that they're boring and write boring songs.

Jon, thanks for the CD! Can't wait to buy your pet snakes in December!

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