Updated: Jun 22
Last night, on July 27, 2021, at 1:00 am, as was my usual routine before going to bed, I opened the Apple Music app and began listening to music. This time, my mood took me back to my teenage years, a time of innocence and experiencing the sweet pangs of puppy love. I found myself immersed in songs by local bands and those from the West, relishing every moment I could spare to listen to their melodies. Suddenly, a memory resurfaced—an Australian rock band called “Jet” and their 2006 album, “Shine On.” Intrigued, I quickly typed the band’s name into the search bar and located the album. From the very first track, vivid memories rushed back to me, appearing as fresh and vibrant as ever.
Realizing the significance of this memory, I felt compelled to pen down the story. It begged to be told, preserved for the sake of personal history. The memories were too sweet to let fade into oblivion. And so, the tale begins—a nostalgic journey back to my 19-year-old self, a time when rock and roll embodied my philosophy of life. Nirvana, the iconic Seattle band, held a special place in my heart as one of the most influential and authentic rock bands. This sentiment was shared by a close-knit group of friends, as we collectively embraced the rebellious spirit of our teenage years.
During my senior year of high school, as the exams drew to a close, an opportunity arose for me to venture to a neighboring town. The destination was quite a distance from my hometown, requiring a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride. We gathered early in the morning, around 6 o’clock, and eagerly set off on our journey. The plan was to stay in the city for approximately 3-4 days, with arrangements made for me to spend the nights at my teacher’s house. Other students had organized accommodations with their respective relatives or friends. However, circumstances unfolded in a different manner, and I ended up spending only one night at my teacher’s house, with the remaining nights at a friend’s campus dormitory.
On the first day, I explored the city alongside my friends, visiting their prestigious campus—the most renowned in the area. It was there that I encountered new faces, including someone unexpectedly from my own hometown. This individual introduced me to the album “Shine On” by Jet, stating, “Since you’re a fan of Nirvana, I believe you’ll appreciate this album too. Give it a listen.” I can’t recall if it was played from a cassette or an mp3 file on a laptop, but I’m quite certain it was from a cassette as I listened to it on my trusty old Walkman.
Right from the opening notes, I was captivated! The album struck a chord within me—a “zing” akin to what Transylvania experiences in the movies. Jet skillfully blended rock and roll elements, evoking nostalgia reminiscent of The Beatles, while firmly imprinting their unique Australian essence. Reviews praised their ability to create a joyfully old-fashioned rock and roll album that paid homage to the classics. However, to my surprise, upon researching album reviews online, I discovered that it had received a considerable amount of negative feedback. Even prestigious publications like Pitchfork rated it a mere 0.0 in their review.
Critics noted influences from “Rubber Soul”-era Beatles and The Everly Brothers on tracks like “Eleanor,” with Oasis casting a significant shadow over the album. Some went as far as describing it as a nod to Oasis performing The Beatles, as the Gallagher brothers’ rock and roll spirit was palpable, fooling one’s senses into believing it was indeed Oasis playing. The album garnered diverse opinions, as expressed by Paul McNamee from NME, Tim Sendra from AllMusic, and Preston Jones and Alexis Petridis from Slant Magazine and The Guardian, respectively.
Prior to discovering this album, I was already familiar with Jet through their hit single “Look What You’ve Done,” as seen on MTV. However, it was only now that I had the opportunity to listen to their second album, at the ripe age of 19, when youthful exuberance and a passion for rock and roll burned within me. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. And so, the album became the soundtrack to my experiences at that moment—the culmination of the fast-paced tempo of exams, intermingled with the emotional ballad of my budding romance. It encapsulated the essence of rock and roll.
This is why the album holds such immense significance for me, even to this day. The stories and moments associated with it remain indelibly imprinted upon my soul. It can be said that “Shine On” is one of those albums that accompanied me during the sweet twilight of my teenage years—an era I hold dear. I am forever grateful to the friend who introduced me to this album, enriching my youth and naive life with its melodic magic. Everyone has a story to tell or write, and this is one of mine—a tale of puppy love and cherished memories that still resonate within me.
Shine On Jet 2006