LAWRENCE ARMS, THE: We Are the Champions of the World: CD/LP

I’ve got to admit that I have never spent any time with the music of The Lawrence Arms, but after listening to their latest album I’m having some regrets. It’s their greatest hits, culled from all their material with Asian Man, Epitaph, and Fat Wreck. There are twenty-nine songs in seventy-five minutes, so it’s pretty formidable. Amongst the tracks are five that are previously unreleased. As the album worked its way on, so did the earworm. The songs are catchy and fun but with a bit of melancholy and sadness on occasion, too. One thing I especially liked about this release was that the booklet included thoughts on each track from Brendan and Chris (sorry Neil!). I’m always curious about what bands were thinking when they wrote songs. Even though I’ve only newly come to listen to The Lawrence Arms, I found this info insightful. While I can’t say whether this is a good capsule of their career, it does serve as a great introduction. My only complaint is that it’s a bit long. I would’ve cut about fifteen or twenty minutes and still been stoked on this. Despite that fact, it’s worth picking up if you’re an ignoramus like me. –Kurt Morris (Fat)