Let me begin today’s post with a favorite passage from the book I’m currently reading: “For what is genius, I ask you, but the capacity to be obsessed? Every normal child has that capacity; we have all been geniuses, you and I; but sooner or later it is beaten out of us, the glory fades, and by the age of seven most of us are nothing but wretched little adults.” An apt description as to why I’m NOT a genius. The only things I have the capacity to be obsessed over are chocolate and burritos. Not always in that order. The power of concentration eludes me. Like Homer Simpson, I’m so easily distracted, not by squirrels like Homer, but by all sorts of flights of fancy: reading, writing, picture taking, music listening, journaling, bike riding, skateboarding, snacking, and fathering, that I never obsess over any one thing and therefore fail to excel at anything (with the exception of fathering: I’m working like mad to raise three responsible members of society).
Likewise, Annuals seem unable to pin themselves down to any one sound. “Dry Clothes” shines through like a summery Beach Boys tune, “Bleary Eyed” trots along like a Grateful Dead jam, “Brother” inches along as an atmospheric meditation, and they drop a dance-floor beat into their remake Manchester Orchestra’s “Where Have You Been?” Eventually all these comparisons break down as the songs break down as well into something sometimes entirely different. It seems concentration escapes Annuals as well, but their lack of focus still retains a playful childhood capacity for genius.