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Allan Collins: ‘My evolution through life with music by my side’

Feb 20 • Arts & Leisure, Top Stories • 510

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I have been reviewing music on this platform for 2 1/2 years now, but I have been listening to music avidly since my senior year of high school five years ago and have been always been interested in music since I got my first iPod in fourth grade.
So, music has been a major and prominent part of my day-to-day for a little over half my life.
Since there aren’t enough great records being dropped (except Jessica Pratt’s “Quiet Signs” and Girlpool’s “What Chaos is Imaginary”) or at least records that elicit a want to write a review for it, I will be looking back at records that have impacted my life in some significant way.
Panic! At the Disco’s “Pretty Odd” was released on March 25, 2008, and EA released the second installment of “Rock Band” that fall; I was in fifth grade.
One of the first playable tracks was “Nine in the Afternoon” by Panic! At the Disco, and all I remember is being so mesmerized by it and instantly falling in love with it.
What I didn’t realize at the time, but I realize now, is that this song started my love for music.
I instantly went to iTunes and bought “Pretty Odd” and had the record on repeat for years and years to come. Today it is still one of my favorite records of all time and my favorite by the band.
Jumping ahead a few years to my sophomore year, my music tastes were starting to transition from top 40 popular music, to rock music (Fall out Boy, Ok Go, Muse, etc.) on top of getting into “Call of Duty.”
I also starting to get into YouTube around the same time and one of my favorite activities was watching YouTubers play “Call of Duty.”
One of the YouTuber’s I watched, Hutch, had “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi” playing in one of his videos, and I once again instantly fell in love with the sound and the flow of the song.
This record changed my life not at this point but a few months later when I got dumped by my first girlfriend at the time.
“In Rainbows” was the reason that I was able to boost myself out of that sad time in my life and when I look back at it I understand more why then I did at the time.
Now let’s fast-forward to my junior year of high school. I started to listen to more metal music, and I had gotten a new girlfriend; life was good.
I was using Pandora to listen to music and one day Dance Gavin Dance’s track “Strawberry Swisher, Pt. 3” came on I remember doing some trigonometry homework.
This track transformed me since I had never heard anything like it and I was so enthralled by the fluttering of the guitars and the very jazzy feel of this abrasive music.
Today I know more about the genre, math rock, and the record that this song comes from, “Acceptance Speech,” changed my life forever by installing a permanent love for the genre of math rock and mathcore.
Now we transition to my final year of high school. My nerves and ambitions were fluttering with college thoughts and dreams, so I directed all my heart into swimming and listening to music.
Hands Like Houses’ “Unimagine” was the record that hit me the most at the time. The narrative of being lost and wanting to find answers was what drew me in every time I listened to it.
This record gave me ground and stability in a time when I was comparing myself to my peers who were getting into top 20 schools, while I wasn’t that kind of student.
As I transitioned into my first semester at Gannon, I felt a bit out of place everywhere I went. I kept my head down and moved through everything I could to keep my grades as high as I could muster them.
I was still stuck on this idea of trying to compete with my friends in high school, so I wanted to get into the best graduate school I could, and I was thinking about that even during my first semester.
“No Place” by A Lot Like Birds is probably my favorite record of all time to this day and it was in the first semester of my freshman year when I discovered it.
The record is a detailed and introspective look at a house, with each track looking at a different room.
The way the album is presented and the way the lyrics describe different life events around each room touched me on both an intellectual level and a spiritual one.
This record made me confident not only in who I am but gave me guidance in what I wanted to be as a person; I finally had discovered who Allan Collins was.
Lastly, we jump to last year, junior year. I was still dating the same girl that I started dating my junior year of high school.
I was extremely unhappy with the relationship and I slowly drove myself into depression.
I kept telling myself it would get better, but the more I kept going through it the more I wanted to end the relationship. At this same time Endless Heights came out with “Vicious Pleasures”
In general, this record hit me in the most personal way I can remember. The record looks at a person’s relationship and the give-and-takes of a relationship.
“Vicious Pleasures” gave me the courage to attack my problem head-on, to not be discouraged for not loving her the way I used to, and eventually to break up with her; the one who was making my life a living hell.
Today I continue to listen to new and old music and still get touched here and there by different releases. There are several other records that had significant roles in my life, but these are the most major ones.
Remember to always push forward in your life no matter how hard it may get, no matter how small your problems are.
People always say you only live once. But, I like to look at it as you only die once; you live every day and will live if you keep yourself going.

ALLAN COLLINS
collins049@knights.gannon.edu

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