My editor asked me if I could write about Michael Cera’s new surprise album, so I obviously said YES and I don’t know why. I mean, it’s not like I consider myself a rabid Michael Cera fan or whatever, but the thought of him releasing a weird indie-folk album appeals to me very much. I have very complicated feelings about True That. I am now going to copy the texts I sent to my editor a few days ago and try to expand on these feelings here in an attempt to turn this word vomit into anything that could vaguely resemble a review, even for a fleeting second.
“Michael Cera’s album is so weird ’90s.”
I’m not sure what I mean by this. I suppose I mean that it is very “Internet, Today”, which is very “Try Hard Internet ’90s”. You know what I mean. Fake grungy floppy disc style with mom jeans on. That’s what it is. If someone played this to me and didn’t tell me what it was, I would assume it was either super recent or, like, 18-years-old.
“It makes me feel like I’m reading 13 Douglas Coupland books all at once.”
Lately I’ve been feeding my Douglas Coupland addiction by re-reading my favourite book of his, Microserfs, for the 12th millionth time. As a result, I feel emotionally attached to my computer and bitter towards Apple products. It’s a good book about, well, people and feelings and how we interact with technology and ourselves.
I don’t really know why True That makes me feel like I’m in 1994 and doing nothing, but it just does. The album just sounds like the kind of music they would play in the elevators or use as hold music at Microsoft, right? Especially that one song called “Of A Thursday”. Not Apple. Apple would have The Fratellis or something.
“I feel like he basically just made the perfect soundtrack to Microserfs.”
If Microserfs became a movie – and because nothing overly dramatic happens in it, or mostly because the dramatic things that happen are so non-dramatic in the main character’s recaps of it – this chill, weird album is the perfect score for a movie about tech geeks in Silicon Valley in 1994. If Silicon had real grass, I would love to see Michael Cera lying in it, smoking a clove cigarette. I feel like he’s the type. He would be listening to TLC on a Walkman.
“It sounds like he made it with a dinky garage sale keyboard and an Apple II.”
Seriously. I like that a lot of the album is instrumental. “Too Much” is a wonderful slow track to simply exist to. I fell asleep to True That while nursing my hangover, and I never felt more refreshed when I woke up. It’s wonderful, guys.
“I hate/like it. It’s glorious. It’s so great I wish it wasn’t by Michael Cera.”
You know what I mean? Like, I’m annoyed that Michael Cera created something so wonderful when he seems like the most boring human alive. Michael Cera reminds me too much of my ex-boyfriend, who had the personality of a doorknob. I feel like Michael Cera is just not funny, but maybe that’s fine. Maybe that’s why he can make beautiful cloud music and surprise release it on the Internet. Because True That is incredible.
“I like Michael Cera but at the same time, I don’t care about him, and like, I really dig the album, it’s so lame and Muzak and elevator at Microsoft-sounding but I’m mad because I don’t want boring Michael Cera to have created this. It’s like finding out your weird drunk uncle created Lego.”
Which it is. That being said, I don’t know who I would have preferred to have made this. The more I listen to it, the more I can’t imagine anybody else but Michael Cera doing this. I’m sorry – I’m just having a hard time separating MICHAEL CERA from the music. I mean, I was talking to my friends about it last night: I like Jesse Eisenberg better than Michael Cera, but if Jesse Eisenberg made this album, I would be mad and I would hate it on principle. That being said, if this album was made by some random in their bedroom, I would probably love it a thousand times more. It’s just, well, it’s Michael Cera. And I honestly can’t believe how flippin’ wonderful this album is.
I honestly think it’s lovely. It’s soft and gentle. It’s the softest fleece throw. It is the least dangerous, intense thing I’ve ever heard. It’s happy, too – I’ve been sad, but I’m not sad when I listen to this. It’s just pure. And I think Michael Cera is pure too, and that’s why the album feels so good. Not raw, just intentional. Like he made it with love.