Way back in 2013 I wrote my
first review for Tuned Up, then it was called I Am Tuned Up. It was only meant
to be a onetime thing or an every once in a while thing. I never intended or
thought I would become a regular or even a senior writer, but 6 years later
here I am still doing the thing. Why would I mention this? That first review
was an album by Vinnie Caruana, frontman of The Movielife, one of my favorite
bands. A band that was important in shaping my musical landscape.
Six years later here I am again writing about Vinnie
Caruana yet again. This man does not slow down and that in a weird sense ties
into the title of his latest release, Aging Frontman. This is a man that
recently turned 40, he has been doing this for most of his life, be it with The
Movielife, I Am the Avalanche, Peace’d Out, or his solo work. He stays busy.
One of the reoccurring themes on this release is mental health. A topic that has become somewhat of a popular subject these days in music, and I’m here for it. This is something that affects 46% of adults in the United States at some point in their lives. So any time I hear a musician sing about the subject, I listen. Vinnie himself has said that these songs are the medicine for his mental health, as these songs are some of his most personal.
The first single, “Better,” very may be one of the best songs Vinnie as written. Do you have those songs that you listen to over and over and over? Well, this has already become one for me. And to be honest I’m not sure why, there is something about it that just feels right for me and I love it. The song is about life and the mistakes we make and in the end wanting to be better for the people in our lives. I can get with that.
“Alone” is a track that stands out to me, as it doesn’t start out as a typical Vinnie Caruana song, and that’s great. But it eventually comes around to what we know from him. This song is about his life from the other side, if he had not married his wife and how different his life would be, how alone he would be.
One of my favorite songs is the instrumental number, “I Love You, Please Watch Over Us.” I like the placement of the song. It’s number 4 on a six-track release. So at this point, we’ve heard a few songs, and it’s kind of a break before the last two songs. The feeling it emits is somber. It fits in perfectly with the overall tone of the album.
The closer, “Tex ‘The Rock’ Johnson,” is the most upbeat song on the album, and it is so fun sounding, which I attribute to the ukulele. When I hear that instrument, I can’t help but smile. Maybe that was the point here. Maybe Vinnie Caruana wanted to leave us with a little hope, something to bring a smile to our face. It’s also a bit of a love song or love letter. After all he has been through and done, he knows that his one true love will always be there.
So go find your one true love, whatever it may be. Find
what makes you happy and enjoy this life, as we only get one. And take care of
yourself and those you love. This is all we get.