Endless Loop: Leave Me Alone

spyHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Leave Me Alone” by Spy

Have you ever had one of those albums that you are the utmost champion of?  A record that you try to push on your friends and family as something, if not essential, then at the very least a wonderful listen to and while away an hour or so?  A record that for whatever reason (generally a lack of promotion) doesn’t seem to receive the attention or the acclaim that you know it is worthy of?

I do.  And, with the exception of a couple of old friends who drank the sonic Kool-Aid I provided them, Spy’s 1999 album, Music to Mauzner By, seems to belong only to me.

I stumbled across the album quite by accident back when I was in college and volunteering as a deejay for the campus radio station.  One morning, I randomly grabbed a small stack of promo CD’s to review for the station, took them back to my apartment, and began listening and writing out my thoughts.  Music to Mauzner By floored me.  An eclectic mix of different styles, hitting on alt-rock, funk, soul, hip-hop, flamenco, and classical among others, Spy’s album felt like a project taking its cues from Beck’s Odelay or Midnight Vultures and Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys, but with less fusion or cohesion.  Rather than throwing everything into a stew to see how it sounds, each track bounces around from genre to genre and back again, a highlight of which for me is the wonderful, hip-hop flavored “Leave Me Alone.”

A mellow beat laid beneath a simple bassline and synth riff, J. Ralph’s speak-singing cooing and lamenting in my ear, “Leave Me Alone,” while certainly a product of its time, still sounds as infectious to me now as it did 18 years ago, when it caused my college roommate to spontaneously strut.

And we should all strut sometimes.


Note: while Spy was a one and done music project, apparently the artist J. Ralph has continued to make music, most notably as an Oscar nominated film score and soundtrack artist, penning the music to such documentaries as The Cove, Man On Wire, and Racing Extinction.  I love learning new things when I write.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

One Response to Endless Loop: Leave Me Alone
  1. Eric Caldwell Reply

    You are not alone my friend! I find myself looking up this album at least once or twice a year. And every time I do, it never disappoints. Even the classical score at the end just leaves me wondering what if he would have stayed with this genre. ‘Leave me alone’ is my favorite as well! Glad there is someone else out there that appreciates SPY. Now I just need to be able to find it on Spotify.

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