Motion City Soundtrack
My Dinosaur Life


4.5
superb

Review

by stasar USER (15 Reviews)
June 26th, 2019 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "All I want for you to be is happy—or something."

I shouldn’t feel embarrassed about how much I like Motion City Soundtrack. I admit that they have some juvenile tunes, especially early on. For all that I love their debut, it bleeds a high school ethos with high, whiney vocals and silly lyrics. And it still does charm me. I find the nonsense cute. Justin Courtney Pierre probably does, too. By My Dinosaur Life, he embraces an oddball persona. The tracks come out as zany as his ruffled afro.

I don’t usually like songs as stupid as Worker Bee. I can’t imagine Pierre pitching this as the album’s opener. “Guys, guys, let’s open our next entry by absolutely screeching about a gold star.” Without question, without even a second’s thought, I would have vetoed it. Too wack, dude, so weird that it seems like satire. Please, go back to the drawing board, except, maybe, wait, hearing it for the first time, it works well.

It begins in a lull. The words come out in a lethargic drawl. The guitars sling back and forth somberly. Drums remain absent from the arena. “I deserve a gold star,” he deadpans. Then the song awakens as if the band took a quick power nap before punching it to life.

It’s musical caffeine. The energy doesn’t let up; the first seven cuts have a lovely, convivial energy that leaves me needy and laughing and short of breath. And they show off such immense sonic diversity, too, even throwing in a kazoo.

The lyrics cut me up. It is both very weird and oddly resonant. Sometimes he delivers sweet sentiments. “My parents keep asking when you’re planning on coming around,” he notes seriously. But he only sprinkles these sentiments into other strange asides and anecdotes. Just a minute before, he had declared that he fell asleep watching Veronica Mars, not for the first time. Like, dude, what.

But that immaturity shines, here, by laying him out, characterizing him. After the album closes, I might not know what Justin’s tourniquet dream means, but I do learn that it bothers him. He cares, at least cares enough to muster up some honesty and confess his anxieties. He fears his hedonistic personality, asking for help and loneliness, too, falling in love, not falling in love enough, and growing up. He resents becoming a better person. “The things that used to mean so much to me have gone the way of dinosaurs, hopes and dreams, and everything. All I want for you is to be happy—or something.”

I no longer feel embarrassed about Motion City Soundtrack. I connect with what they said in This Dinosaur Life. I don’t think they reached a thematic conclusion, at the end. That’s okay. Neither have I in my own life. Somewhere there, I found something poignant. And I will revel in that instead of hiding it.



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user ratings (595)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Knott- EMERITUS (4)
    Finally....

    Jared P. STAFF (4)
    "I always knew I had the answer, but I never understood the question."...

    blindsided21 (4)
    My Dinosaur Life is certainly a good record, and is arguably Motion City Soundtrack's best...

    Slum (4)
    Motion City Soundtrack never fails to deliver....

  • SeaAnemone (2)
    The fact that their giddy, upbeat temperament sounds so sincere is almost enough to forgiv...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
June 26th 2019


31501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album and band. Review is a great reminder to pay them another listen.

Digging: Sum 41 - Order In Decline

WatchItExplode
June 26th 2019


6896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You deserve a gold star for highlighting this fantastic album!

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 26th 2019


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If you go to your profile and click “edit my reviews” you can fix this up by giving it the correct rating

Digging: Joliette - Luz Devora

Snake.
June 26th 2019


21747 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

top 10 worst album covers ever

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 26th 2019


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You’re so mean

dctarga
June 26th 2019


1614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Eh I tend to agree, always found it sort of cringe. Great album though



The Weekends is a super underrated MCS track imo

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 26th 2019


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nah yeah it’s not the best lol

I like it tho

onionbubs
June 26th 2019


11614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this and commit are the only albums i can really get into from these guys but they’re both fucking wonderful i cannot wait to see em in the winter



stand too close has been mad stuck in my head like all week so timely review lol

Digging: Anberlin - Devotion

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 26th 2019


31501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The artwork rules wtf

TheSonomaDude
June 27th 2019


6875 Comments


I know this album from Impractical Jokers. I'm very excited to check out this concept album about a dinosaur trying to get laid.

3waycrash
June 27th 2019


252 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Album is my favorite from them. Artwork is also pretty cool. I liked how there was a piece for each song if I remember correctly.

joshieboy
June 27th 2019


6736 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haven't ever listened to this l don't think. Will get on it asap

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2019


56815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Been meaning to revisit the discog

Digging: Me in Capris - For Those Who Think You

Atari
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2019


24715 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

musical caffeine, indeed



cool review! This is a decade favorite

Digging: Telethon - Hard Pop

Sinternet
June 29th 2019


19762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

classic



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