“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”
(2 Nephi 2:25, Book of Mormon)
With this year not even two months old I have been forced to endure the death of three people whom I loved. Three people who loved me, who accepted me, who inspired me, who helped me to grow in ways that I could not explain to you here. Their passings were expected but were no less painful and traumatic for that.
They are gone.
Ashes to ashes.
Dust to dust.
But they live on still.
In my memories, in stories, in the fact that even now as I write this I am weeping. Tears falling.
A dreadful ache in my gut.
They are here.
They will never be here again.
Isn’t this the human condition?
The question is what do we do with the time we are given to live?
A giddy pursuit of pleasure?
A closed existence governed by fear of the world and of the grave?
Are we just food for worms boys?
What did Horace know.
Fragile X has built an album that seeks to address the nature of our existence. It offers no answers, no solutions, but, instead, asks questions and in doing so encourages, demands, that we think and grow. There are philosophical concerns here from Descarte and the belief that our existence is proven by our ability to think and on to the Aristotelian ethical concept of human flourishing, of living well; eudaimonia. These are challenging ideas, reaching far beyond the world of rock and roll…demanding more from the listener, changing, and challenging, the role of the listener.
There is great comfort and joy to be found in the flimsy and disposable wonders of disposable pop music, and a heady rush to be delighted in from a stadium anthem being thrown into your face by a rock and roll band…but sometimes, maybe even most of the time, when the heart is black and broken, what you need is the sound of someone, something, who understands. I love
“Xanadu” and yelping along with Olivia Newton-John helps to push the darkness away, but that is a temporary relief and not a solution.
What “Human Condition'' offers is sonic therapy, a conversation with yourself. The sounds and the structures of what Fragile X has constructed are the aural equivalent of an hour on the therapist's couch. I felt like someone was listening to me even though I wasn’t speaking. There is healing and challenge here…just as there is in those experiences in life that prompt growth.
The heart of “Human Condition” lies in the fact that while it is electronic music, it has more heart and soul than much of what is called “real music” by a certain type of person. “Human Condition” has something to say to you, has questions to ask of you and, most importantly, it will help you to find answers, not offer them.