Jeff Rosenstock Day (June 21st)

Happy Jeff Rosenstock Day!

It’s June 21st and I’m officially claiming it as “JEFF ROSENSTOCK DAY”.  For those who don’t know who Jeff Rosenstock is, he’s an American musician who has a legendary underground career in punk music. He started in the ARROGANT SONS OF BITCHES, started a movement with BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY! and since 2012 has rocketed his solo career with four  legendary albums: I Look Like Shit, (2012), We Cool? (2015) WORRY. (2016) and POST- (2018).


I have only really known about Jeff Rosenstock for the last year. I heard a comedian recommend the album WORRY. on a radio show. I checked out the album as the description appealed to my tastes. I played the album and something clicked; WORRY. had an instant connection to me, in a way which very few artists and albums do with me. It was love at first listen. It was the only time in my life when I had finished the album, I had to immediately listen to the album again. His lyrics are incredibly incisive and hard-hitting. He discusses things from gentrification, feeling like a failing. and to living in an unjust, corrupted corporate society, whilst expressing the very human moments of happiness. The music is overwhelming succinct and his albums are superbly crafted (particularly WORRY.) with thunderous riffs, fast beats, but moments of wondrous tranquillity too. There is a element of theatrics with Rosenstock, but in a very earnest way. Never does it seem cheesy or gratuitous.

Rosenstock also puts on hell of live show. I travelled from the North East to London to see him gig. On the way down, my the girl I was seeing broke up with me over the phone. And the gig felt like I was at a Nirvana gig from the 90’s: in the first song we broke the crash barrier and we were pinned up next to the sound monitors. Absolutely manic and the whole room bouncing and singing every word. It was the best time for a break-up because I felt so perfect in the gig. It was genuinely unforgettable.

So for JEFF ROSENSTOCK DAY 2019  I’ve made a select list of my favourite Jeff Rosenstock Lyrics. His albums are so pertinent and full of gems, and they all deserve limelight, but that being said, here are the ones that resonated with me the most. Listen to the albums, but here are a few highlights from a selection of songs I love.


Get Old Forever

”When your friends are buying starter homes with their accomplishments

Drinking at a house show can feel childish and embarrassing

With people glaring because despite what the advertisements said:

Malt liquor doesn’t make you young”

These are the opening lyrics to “We Cool?” and they serve as a great start to this blog, because it serves up a scoop, of depression, social media, anti-capitalism and feeling inadequate but in a very sociable context and with a bitesize method.
It reflects the thoughts of a person who feels like they’re a failure, because they’re comparing their lives with others, and the only thing you can do is great drunk and cling onto the past. He discusses how he gets past it all in the chorus, but I think it’s fundamentally impressive to dive straight into this subject matter, but also do so in an accessible way.

….When You’re Alive

“I wanna let you know while you're alive

Because everybody loves you when you die

But when it matters, they're not there”

Brutal, yet catchy and efficient. The word economy and pacing of Rosenstock’s songs are truly magnificent. The best thing about this line, is that it can be taken as very cynical (People who only love and care for you when you are gone; and I think this is his intended meaning) or it can be taken as sweet and touching, a warning to let people know that they are loved before it’s too late.



“I got so tired of discussing my future

I started avoiding the people I love

Evenings of silence and mornings of nausea

Shake and sweat and I can’t throw up”

 This whole song is an utter masterpiece. The whole song lyrics should be in (as with many of the songs) but this song an these lyrics highlight trying to do your best, but feeling like a failure. It’s should be the anthem for all millennials.



“Born as a data mine for targeted marketing

And no one will listen up until you become a hashtag or a meme

But hate's not a fad that dies with its virality

They want you to be a ghost when they rob you of your hope

But you've got power when they're not expecting anything”


This is utterly incisive and everytime I listen to it, it makes me go “Holy fuck”. This whole song is intoxicating and paints a vivid picture of modern life.


“Dumbfounded, downtrodden, and dejected

Crestfallen, grief-stricken, and exhausted

Trapped in my room while the house was burning to the motherfuckin' ground

I saw the sign but it was misleading

I fought the law, but the law was cheating

Screaming for help, but somebody keeps on telling me to settle down”

Rosenstock told Exclaim! that “USA” is a song that tries to put into words the anti-Trump singer’s feelings the day after the 2016 election. “It was like the hum you feel after an electrical storm. There’s something weird in the air. I remember we were driving around the Midwest, looking at people in their cars or at the gas station thinking, ‘Did you fucking do this? What the hell?’” he says.
The first stanza is such an expertly crafted expression of a life POST-2016, where you feel hopeless and confused. I also think the line “I fought the law, but the law was cheating” is one my all-time favourite lines in a song. It’s so powerful and resonates on so many levels.


We Begged 2 Explode

“Laura said to me, "This decade's gonna be fucked

Friends will disappear after they fall in love (Fall in love)

Fall in love and get married

Isn't that shit like, crazy?

The workin', havin' babies and promotions?

The cheatin', cryin', leavin', and divorcin'?"“


Again another song about comparing your life to other peoples (maybe this is saying more about me at this point). However We Begged 2 Explode is a cacophony of brilliance. Solemn contemplation followed by chanting euphoria (another way it echoes Get Old Forever).


“But I can’t stop laughing at

The shortsightedness of childhood dreams where we’re all young astronauts

The truth is it sucks being young and in love

When you’re old you’re just bummed that you’ll never be happy enough”


Rosenstock has the capacity to be really authentic, speak truth and blow your mind in the space of a few sentences. The entirety of Polar Bear Or Africa is great for this. It’s a song about crashing his bike and getting a scar which looks like a Polar Bear or Africa. I love his mind for starting with that seed, and ending up with the lyric above. It’s amazing.


Wave Goodnight To Me

“Yeah, ignorance is bliss until the day

The things you ignored all come into focus

And those conveniences and cavities

That can't get filled 'cause you didn't notice”

What I love most about Rosenstock lyrics is that the lines are coming out at a rapid pace, that it’s possible that you miss them for the first couple of listen-throughs. That means that some of the best lyrics are the ones that have been hiding in plain sight. This is example is one that happens to me. Once it clicks into place - it’s like “holy fuck!“


 “Yeah, I've got friends who wanna catch up on old times

But that just makes me feel ashamed to be me

And I've got friends who wanna relive the past

And deify memories

And they just scream to me”

Rosenstock has an uncanny skill of picking up on modern experiences, both personally, politically and socially. Talking about self-shame and rose-tinted glasses, he creates these really relatable moment like he does in “I Look Like Shit”


 Staring Out The Window Of Your Old Apartment

“Staring out the window at your old apartment
Imagining the old you stumbling through tacky renovations
That the landlord wanted to cash in on the boom
And you don't know where to go now
You've got nowhere to go now”

 In Worry. he talks a lot about gentrification and how the times are changing the world into a soulless husk, and he attacks lot of capitalist messages in his works (Festival Song mentions Billboards covering up the skyline for example). However in this song, and in this chorus, Jeff succinctly makes some great points, but giving a relatable message of isolation with his feeling.

YR Throat

“What’s the point of having a voice
When it gets stuck inside your throat?”

 Nothing really more be said. Incredibly snappy and fits the thrashy sound of the song. I was very surprised when ELO get mentioned in this song.

JUNE 21st

“It's beautiful out there

There's nothing I'd rather do

Than slay the nightmare

Arm in arm with you

I didn't leave the house all day

For the last thirty Saturdays

It's time to trade the darkness for a view

Because it's June 21st”

This is so inspiring and it’s a reason why June 21st is one of my favourites. I wanted to put the whole song in. The melody truly makes this song complete as it is so joyous and proves to you that you can get better. You can escape the darkness and make it to the summer solstice where it get so much brighter. It gives us such a wondrous and earnest view into Rosenstock’s life, as he does throughout WORRY.


When You’re Alive

 “And it's not like the love that they showed us on T.V

It's a home that can burn

It's a limb to freeze

It's worry

Love is worry”

 I think “Love Is Worry” is a perfect summary of this song, this album and one of the most gobsmacking lyrics I’ve ever come across. I essentially have based an Edinburgh Fringe show based off of it, and I would even get it tattooed on me. It means so much to me as has done for the last year of my life. It is perfect. It is what love is to me.

Thank you for reading my Jeff Rosenblog! Please check out his albums and listen to them on June 21st! If you like it, please share it!


As a child, I used to really love Queen. I listened to their Greatest Hits on repeat and their music represented a wide range of bombastic and theatrical songs. (I remember being shocked that in ‘Bicycle Race’ Freddie says that he doesn’t like Star Wars – that was a big insult against childhood Matt Hoss). I didn’t know that much about Queen other than the basics. But as I grew to a teenager I got into metal and hard rock and I grew a disdain for Queen. Why? I suppose I considered them a pop band and a teenager, I assumed that they were boring. I couldn’t be further from the truth.

Admitting to this makes me a little bashful, because it was ignorant and I had not yet scratched the surface. In The last 6 months, I rediscovered my love for Queen, and it has struck harder than ever before; I dug deep and found out about the hidden world, and it blew my mind. In recent months, my whole life has revolved around my love for Queen. I would crowbar them into every conversation; I’ve introduced Freddie-isms into my stand-up (I’m like a budget John Robins).  In one date, I even talked about Brian May’s Guitar Technique for 10 solid minutes – it was the best date I’ve ever been on (Note to everyone: you should never “Be Yourself” or else this kind of stuff happens).

With a whole new perspective of this legendary band, I saw their technical prowess, their experimental albums and every deep cut. I listened to all of their albums and have compiled this list of my favourite Queen albums in order. This list may help people figure out where to start with Queen, give some hot takes and it stops me from shouting John Deacon facts at my friends/bored dates/random people in the street who are tired of hearing about Queen from me.

So here is their entire studio discography in chronological order and my opinions on all of them.

 Queen (1973)


Queen’s debut album is really good and an interesting album. I feel that with many of the songs, they are seeds of what is to come; there are so many genres and different types of music. For example you have hard rock from Keep Yourself Alive,  softer, melodic songs from Doing Alright. And on top of that you have some Prog rock as well in a lot of fantastical songs of the album. They show a beautiful range of rock and then snap into pop. It’s enchanting.

I like the prog songs, however there is something which makes me want to skip over them. They are technically good but I feel that I never want to listen to them per se - however it’s always enjoyable when I listen to them. On the flip side, they conclude the album with a short instrumental of Seven Seas Of Rhye, which leaves you thirsty for more.

But it doesn’t hit the legendary heights of the other albums, but as a first album, it’s an amazing place to start. For a debut it’s really good!

 Best Song: Keep Yourself Alive
Least Favourite: Jesus

Queen II (1974)

queen 2.jpg

A good Queen album, and experimentally very different. It is a full prog-rock album. It really kind of made me laugh when the legendary band which created songs like,  Don’t Stop Me Now  and Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy created songs like Ogre Battle.

So there isn’t much range within the album itself, but it’s pretty nice scope for the entirety of Queen’s discography; it’s an contained and wondrous album. I feel this album is overall pretty good, but it’s not one I regularly return to. It’s not as gripping as others.  That being said, Seven Seas Of Rhye is one my favourite songs in the world. Amazing tune.

Best Song: Seven Seas Of Rhye (the full version)
Least Favourite: Procession (Nothing personal - just that it lacks a lot more content than the other songs)

Sheer Heart Attack (1974)


Wow. Sheer Heart Attack is probably my favourite Queen’s album and certainly has some of their biggest rock numbers on here. This was the album, that truly blew my mind to Queen. You have some big tunes like Killer Queen, but all of the album tracks are gold, particularly Misfire, which is SO UNDERRATED. I think I love it because it’s a treasure trove of amazing rock tracks. It starts perfectly and ends perfectly. Plus they have the perfect amount of EVERYTHING. A little prog, a little hard rock, a medley, some slower songs and some stadium songs.

It’s a massive departure from it’s predecessor Queen 2 and it sounds like perfectly like the iconic Queen sounds. The only downside is that the songs are in the second half of the album jump in tone a lot: Stone Cold Crazy into Dear Friends is enough to give you whiplash. The album ends with a magnificent In The Lap Of The Gods Revisited and it is magnificent and a perfect end to a legendary album.

 BEST SONG: Brighton Rock


A Night At The Opera (1975)


This is the album which transcended Queen into rock gods – and for very good reason. Yes you have Bohemian Rhapsody and  You’re My Best Friend but the album is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. You have a great mixture of talents and sounds which culminate in a beautiful coherent and touching album. Plus you have songs like The Prophet’s Song, (which is not one I regularly listen to), but the amount of vocal tracks and the genuinely impressive mixing sounds so angelic. It’s an audible feast.

I’m not sure if this is apparent, but I think I subconsciously dislike more of Roger Taylor’s contribution more than other songs. However in this case, it is very conscious – I really hate I’m In Love With My Car, it’s contains some of the worst lyrics in the world. Lyrics that me cringe very hard are “Told my girl I'll have to forget her Rather buy me a new carburettor”. I mean, just **** off.

There are songs which juxtapose others, but this is the right balance on this album. From Death On Two Legs, an intimidating rock song into Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon (a cheeky and promiscuous song), it somehow works. All and all, one of the all-time greats.

 Best Song: Death On Two Legs (Dedicated to…)
Least Favourite: I’m In Love With My Car

A Day At The Races (1976)


 This is prime Queen. You get a smorgasbord of different queen elements. Hard rock, ballads and the most majestic of songs. These songs contain some of the best of the best Queen like Tie Your Mother Down and The Millionaire Waltz. I love this album a lot.
That being said, there are a few quibbles with it. I think some of the songs do go on for a little bit too long, and think their slower songs lose gravitas and poignancy because of this. You Take My Breath Away, really breaks the pace following the pageantry of the Tie Your Mother Down.

Quality Queen and one which has a nice balance on massive tunes and the greatest deep cuts.

Best Song: The Millionaire Waltz
Least Favourite:  Drowse

 News Of The World (1977)


When I initially listened to this album, I didn’t rate this too highly. However I re-listened to each album, and I discovered so much more about each album (and in some cases, I had overhyped certain songs). However the one with a biggest change was after the second listen of News Of The World.

Structurally, it’s an interesting album. This is because you start of the album with two legendary  and theatrically big songs  We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. Speaking not of their legacy for a moment, this is such a breath-taking way to start an album, with two grandiose songs which were written to appease stadium crowds (bear in mind that both of these songs concluded their Career-defining moment at Live Aid 1985. So the album starts off strong, to put it mildly. 

Then here are where things get interesting. For most of the rest of the album, they are no big hits, however there are some insanely impeccable deep cuts. Perhaps on the first listening I switched off, but you really get incredible hidden gems. Sheer Heart Attack, Spread Your Wings, Who Needs You and loads more. They are deceptively amazing, and really gives such a desirable mixture of Queen. It’s like Queen are saying: “Ok, here are the hits at the top of album, but why don’t you stay for the next 9 songs and we’re really going to impress you”.

There is big flaw: there is one noticeable awful song on the album – “Get Down, Make Love”. Queen do have some infamously bad lyrics (on occasion), however I feel that this song is the curdled cream of the crop. It doesn’t go anywhere and the lack of quality sticks out in comparison to the others on the album. Maybe I’m being unfair, but still it’s a lull in an otherwise brilliant album.

Best Song: It’s Late
Least Favourite: Get Down, Make Love

Jazz (1978)


A problematic album. I went into most of these albums completely blind, with no idea what the general vibe or public perception was to Queen’s albums. I don’t tend to look out the track listings, but with from the look of the album it looks promising: Fat Bottomed  Girls, Bicycle Race and Don’t Stop Me Now. I assumed I was in safe hands.

However, the album opens with Mustapha, which I think is very symbolic and indicative song for the entire album and what’s about to come. It’s confusing – it’s hard to find a handle of the song and where I stand with the song. It’s not necessarily bad, but just slightly alienating; but on the other hand, it sounds like no other Queen song. You have got to give Queen credit for keeping things fresh and vivid. However the songs are all fine, but some really fail to get that “Wow” moment which Queen regularly provides during most of their albums. That being said, despite it being one of Queen’s most famous songs – Don’t Stop Me Now stands out as true masterpiece on this record.

One of the more notable things on the album it is mixpot of some many sounds and genres (which I think is the point of the album?). Which is great for the experimentation, but it’s hard to settle into the vibe and it keeps you on your toes; some may like this, but I find it hard to immerse myself to the album. They try to tie up all the strands in the final song More Of That Jazz  by cutting into songs previously played on the album.  

Overall, a slightly disappointing album, but it’s got some great hits, some decent album tracks (If You Can’t Beat Them, Jealously etc.) and some pretty original songs.

Best Song: Don’t Stop Me Now
Least Favourite: Fun It

The Game (1980)


I actually think this album is almost flawless. I love this album so much, because everything about it is truly breath-taking. You open with Play The Game,  and  finish with Save Me,  with unstoppable songs all the way through

The only song which I don’t think is great, is Don’t Try Suicide, as it is a little cheesy and doesn’t come across very well. However this came out in 1980, where a lot of people struggled to talk about mental health and suicide awareness, so I think it gets a contextual pass for trying to create a conversation (albeit in a ham-fisted way).  In conclusion, a truly magnificent album which I think is one of my all-time favourite albums.

Best song: Need Your Loving Tonight (This is tough choice)
Least Favourite: Don’t Try Suicide


Flash Gordon (1980)


So this is a hard album to judge alongside the rest, as it is obviously a soundtrack to a 80’s sci-fi film. So it’s already in an odd place in comparison to the others. It doesn’t have the same structure as an album and has a lot more drawn out instrumental pieces, which is obviously very much part of the deal with a soundtrack. So it naturally loses some of the Queen sounds, but it is still very vivid, plus it gives you a full concept with recurring noises and motifs.

It’s another of Queen’s albums which features experimentation and to see Queen do something different is really fascinating. However it’s not exactly like I’d sit down and listen to it. Again it fulfils the job it is meant to do and it conveys the story.

Football Fight sounds like an arcade game, and it’s really has some awesome moments, but I won’t rush back to listen to the miscellaneous tracks.  Overall it’s a great soundtrack, but not as great as Queen’s other work - yet it’s clearly carries the Queen quality trademark.

Best Song: The Hero
Least Favourite: The Ring (Hypnotic Seduction)

HOT SPACE (1982)


In my opinion, Hot Space is a bit of a hot mess. It sounds very 80’s without the distinct  Queen sounds. The lyrics aren’t great and the songs are very cheesy. Although I think it has one of the best and most iconic Queen album covers.

Okay, I’ll be honest, I hated this album when I first listen to it. However I relistened to it for the purposes of this blog and it wasn’t as bad as I remember. However It still is my least favourite Queen Album by a large margin. It’s an album of experimentation and sexual exploration, which doesn’t quite pull together (i.e Body Language).  About half-way through the album (after Action This Day) it turns back into a Queen album and starts the great Queen sound, but infused with bits of Hot Space – Put Out The Fire is a great example for this - and I think it starts to build momentum, but finishes before it gets rolling.

Best song: Under Pressure (easily)
Least Favourite: Body Language

THE WORKS (1984)


The Works is a good album, but struggles to be legendary, but has some heroic moments.

This is a perfectly fine album, but at times it feels a little like Queen on autopilot. Some ABSOLUTE tunes like Hammer To Fall, I Want To Break Free and Radio Gaga, with a sprinkling of cool deep cuts like Tear It Up and It’s A Hard Life but everything else is perfectly fine.  No real bad songs, but they lack some engagement and attractiveness of the other Queen songs. It’s one of the shorter albums and its always a delight, but I often find myself flicking to other albums after a couple of songs.  A good album, but not my most memorable.

Best Song: Radio Gaga
Least Favourite: Machines (Or Back To Humans)


It’s A Kind Of Magic (1986)


This album features a lovely stream of massive Queen hits mixed with great album tracks too. They sew a beautiful undertone of seriousness to the classic Queen sounds (like Who Wants To Live Forever.) It feels that mature, authentic  and touching that they were able to explore other areas with their music. It makes the album more of an experience and really makes the band very human, whilst delivering some massive tunes like One Vision and It’s A Kind Of Magic. It’s like a stadium show inside of the album.

Best song: Princes Of The Universe
Least Favourite: Don’t Lose Your Head

The Miracle (1989)


VERY INTERESTING ALBUM. I was very unsure where to place it and I’m sure when I publish this, I will want to change it again. I think I really love this album. It’s an album which seems very uncertain of what it is all about: it’s an album of where there are many different vibes and ideas. But I think that is what I find attractive. They aren’t interested in writing hits, but just a great Queen album.  I don’t think The Miracle is a popular choice, but it has some truly delicious gems.  I have never heard of Breakthru before this album and it blew me away. So did Rain Must Fall and Was It All Worth It?

I think the whole album is really strong – which means there are few clear lulls or stand-out hits,  but since the dynamic of the band is water-tight, it makes this collection a  solid grouping.  However that being said, there are high highs and low lows. The editing from the solo of the Miracle into the choral singing is a major clumsy sounding mess (but the rest of the song is great), yet I also think Khashoggi’s Ship is one of my favourite Queen songs ever. This album, at times, sounds like it is the album Hot Space wanted to be. It is fresh, compact and deeply enjoyable.

An oddball of an album, but one I’ve come very close with.            

Favourite song: Khashoggi’s Ship
Least Favourite: My Baby Does Me 

Innuendo (1991)


I want to start by stating that I really like Innuendo, but in my opinion it isn’t as good as some of the other albums (for good reason!)

I think the reason why I rate the final three albums (The Miracle, Innuendo and Made In Heaven) very highly is that there is a lot of sentiment and emotion attached to it. The stories of Freddie being so ill to record, yet being able to create so many wonderful performance really resonates with me, and the significance certainly reverberates down each album, and this goes double for Innuendo. However, this does allow for certain filler songs to creep in (but for very understandable reasons). That being said, when this album works, it flies.The Show Must Go On,  without fail, always sends shivers to me: it is powerful and emotionally potency. The fact that Freddie is able to knock it out the park under his circumstances, makes the album worthwhile.

A sad album which is with flaws, but one which offers some huge rock hits and gives perspective on the recording process.

 Best Song: Headlong
Least Favourite: All God’s People


Made in Heaven (1995)

made inheaven.jpg

This is Queen’s last album and it’s Mercury’s posthumous album. I think that significance really raises its position in the listings as the gravitas is embedded throughout.

I really love Made In Heaven , it’s an emotional listen and it has some incredible songs. There are some tamer songs, but overall the album really holds it’s own. There is a hidden track at the end which has transcending noises. I particular don’t care for it, but I suppose it has a significance.

I feel that the sentiment of the album outweighs the talents ever so slightly – do I only love this album because that is a tribute to Freddie? I don’t think so, but I also don’t care, I love listening to certain tracks and I think they are comparable to some of their big hits.

Best Song: Let Me Live
Least Favourite: Yeah/ Track 13  (They’re not even “songs”)

Thank you for reading this essay. Long Live Queen!