I finally pulled the trigger and got the vinyl version of Aurora, the fictional immortal album that made Daisy Jones and the Six legendary in the novel and TV mini-series that went mainstream earlier this year. The story follows the meteoric rise and fall of a 1970s rock band that famously split up after performing their most historic concert.
One must conclude that the way to experience an album like this is by listening to it the way we listened to albums in the 1970s.
Many of the songs are really good, good enough that I have played several of them multiple times on YouTube, but something about sitting with the 12-inch album cover, album notes and lyrics sheet in my lap as the record played, added another dimension. I could have been a twentysomething again getting my first taste of the biggest album of the 1970s — the experience really had that feel to it.
The music has become detached from the physical product in this day and age, and we usually don’t take the time to sit down and listen to a project from start to finish — I wonder if it’s because we don’t have the record sleeve to anchor us as the music flows over and around us. Cherrypicking the songs off a music service is not the same experience as listening to hear how “Aurora,” the opening tune, flows into “Let Me Down Easy” and “Kill You To Try.” Then after the breather that “Two Against Three” offers, the all-important tune “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” closes out Side A with a flourish.
Side B offers more of the same. Much as Fleetwood Mac and other acts of that era provided needed relief from disco, Aurora rolls out a series of pop rock anthems that could have thrived in the late 1970s or early ’80s. The LP arrived early this week and has been on the turntable again and again as the days went by.
Aurora has my heartiest recommendation, and I can’t commend the LP package highly enough. It feels like a time machine delivered it.