To be honest, I didn’t care at all about this album when it came out 20 YEARS AGO. I was into other things – namely all of the amazing Hip Hop and R&B of the early 90s. Years later, as a confused early-20-something, I discovered this album. Today, I can clearly see how it, in so many ways, tells my story. “Say It Ain’t So” is a very personal journey that I can relate to, having had two terrible father-figures. “Only In Dreams” perfectly captures the awkwardness of my early experiences with girls, not understanding cues and being destructively insecure because I didn’t know what to do but knew I was “supposed” to do something and if I didn’t, I’d catch hell.
This album is just simply one of those albums that perfectly tells the story of a certain segment of a certain generation – It’s speaks to the not-cool, the awkward, the unsure, the weak. My generation (born in the late 70’s) doesn’t identify with Gen-X or Gen-Y, we’re caught in between, so misfits from the start. Our parents didn’t do as well as theirs did, and they took it out on us. The Blue Album gave us something to relate to, someplace to actually fit in. We don’t have to feel alone anymore when we listen to it, and most importantly, it doesn’t shame us for our insecurities. It doesn’t tell us we’re wrong, it tells us we’re ok.
Check out Grantland’s homage to one of the best albums ever: