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100 Albums: "A Place In The Sun" by Lit

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Lit
Title: A Place In The Sun
Released: 1999
Genre: power-pop


In the early 90s, a rock act called Stain started getting traction in the LA area. They put out a demo and then an EP, signed to the label, got sued by a guy in Texas who was also using the band named "Stain" and changed their name to Lit. (Aaron Lewis's band Staind also got sued, but apparently that extra "d" was all the change it needed.) Lit's first album was called Tripping The Light Fantastic, and it was released by Malicious Vinyl, after which the label promptly folded. Lit then signed to RCA and in 1999 put out their most successful album, A Place In The Sun, which found success for the band as a slightly-less-juvenile alternative to Blink 182. It's not deep, it's not sophisticated, but it's solid, well-executed, and tons of fun.

The song everyone remembers from APitS is My Own Worst Enemy, which is fun, if a little empty. Subsequent singles included Zip-Lock, which is substantially better in my opinion, and Miserable, which is a pretty good song with a terrible radio edit. The chorus, "You make me come / You make me complete / You make me completely miserable" is only moderately clever and used somewhat sparingly in the album version, but the radio edit awkwardly shoehorns extra choruses in and it sounds fake and stupid. The non-single tracks are all pretty strong. They never stray too strong from the power-pop formula, but they play around a lot within those parameters. Down could almost--almost--be a Stone Temple Pilots song. Perfect One is a crunchy power ballad. Lovely Day plays around with some unexpected chord progressions. Happy has a horn section. For some reason. But it's fun. It sounds like it could be a Mighty Mighty Boss Tones track. My favorite track is the title track, which closes the album out. It's driving and anthemic and finishes things off with a lot of energy.

Bonus factoid: This album has a zero track, which is a thing that happened with CD's in the 90s. It's an instrumental song hidden in the pre-gap space to track one. The only way to listen to it is to start the CD and then rewind it to like a minute and a half. I learned about this while researching the album for this post. I've never heard it! And because I don't have a convenient way to listen to a physical disc without getting into a car, I'm not going to listen to it before this post goes live. Cool!

Further Listening: They have several other albums, but nothing else I've heard from them really lives up to this. Their sound supposedly got a bit more mature following this album, so maybe this record was catching them at a transitional point.

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