The Room’s Still Too Cold: The Early November’s 10th Anniversary
On October 7th, 2003, The Early November released their first full-length album, The Room’s Too Cold, and this year, the band celebrated the tenth anniversary of that record. Many bands use these big anniversaries as an opportunity to re-release and tour in celebration of an important album in their career. The decennial anniversary tour model in particular has become especially popular as of late, with celebratory treks already taken by New Found Glory(Sticks and Stones), Taking Back Sunday(Tell All Your Friends), and The Postal Service(Give Up), just to name a few. Apparently the fans are eating them up, and The Early November jumped on board, announcing a small string of shows for this December in New York and Philadelphia to celebrate The Room’s Too Cold‘s tenth birthday.
Admittedly, I was pretty young in 2003. But when you’re a middle school misfit like I was, you need to stand out early with a defiant music taste that shames all the other Top 40 music consumers. The Early November was perfect for that. Around the time that The Room’s Too Cold was released, the alternative scene was very into screamo and the heavier genres. The Early November changed that by offering an ever-so-sweet alternative. Something a little softer, with words you could actually understand, and lines that made you exclaim, “You just don’t get it, man!” to everyone who couldn’t possible understand why they meant so much.
For many, The Room’s Too Cold became the map for our musical journeys, and the base of our musical backbones. It wasn’t just a record you’d listen to for a month after its release, but rather, it was the record you’d revisit for years to come. It was the very definition of a musical staple for a large portion of my generation. It may not necessarily be nostalgia that has me constantly returning to this album, because I tend not to look back fondly on my awkward adolescent stage, nor the braces that accompanied it. Instead, it’s the reminder of how things were in comparison to how they are now. You know that part in “The Mountain Range in my Living Room” where all those people say what they want to happen when they grow up? Well, I don’t think Molly has received her Academy Award(at least, not yet). The point being that ten years have now passed since she made that declaration, and her plans have most likely changed. But the thing that hasn’t changed is the music. It’s still there for us to come back to. As we flourish from adolescence to adulthood, we associate new meanings and emotions with the music that already meant so much to us. And when music grows with us, we grow closer to it.
Of course we’re all flocking to these tenth anniversary shows, because there’s no staying power in current music for my generation. If we even listen to an album in its entirety, it’s short lived at best. But not the albums we grew up with. We always find the time to lay down and listen to them front to back, back to front, and sometimes even a repeat or two. Maybe that’s just because these are the albums we started with. Or maybe they really are a breed of their own. Whatever the case, these are the albums that stick around.
As we flourish from adolescence to adulthood, we associate new meanings and emotions with the music that already meant so much to us. And when music grows with us, we grow closer to it.
After The Early November broke up in 2007, in an effort to fill that void, I rushed to see vocalist Ace Ender’s two side projects, “Ace Enders and a Million Different People” and “I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business,” as often as I could. While they were all great concerts which I thoroughly enjoyed, it just wasn’t the same as seeing The Early November.
Though they eventually reunited in 2011, I think I speak for the entire fan base when I say that at some point during their absence it hit me, a little too late, just how precious The Room’s Too Cold really was to me. Their disappearance made me appreciate them so much more, and there is now a new value assigned to their music, honoring its longevity and comfort. This is why fans are eagerly anticipating the ten year anniversary. This is why the Philadelphia show is already sold out, and this is why they already had to press more vinyl. There are few words, if any, to express the gratitude we have for an opportunity to reminisce about The Room’s Too Cold, and the staying power that it continues to boast.