Catch 22 – Alone in a Crowd: #806 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Catch 22 - Alone in a Crowd

Why is Catch 22’s Alone in a Crowd on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Don’t point the blame – just check out this frantically upbeat ska punk album.

What does Catch 22’s Alone in a Crowd mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

Catch 22’s sound is super fast paced and super upbeat, both in terms of the speed of the music and vibe it sets. The musicianship is also outstanding, including the guitar work of Pat Calpin and one of the best and tightest horn sections in the biz.

And — oh hell yes — Catch 22 is all about deploying its horns as a key part of setting up its frantic melodies as Thomas Kalnoky’s vocals gallop gamely in keeping up.

“Point the Blame” represents Catch 22 at its best: vocal harmonies, manic ska pace, fantastic horns coming in hot, and a fun, bombastic chorus that pulls the greater works together.

“What Goes Around Comes Around” has what I think of as that classic Catch 22 sound as well, with (even) more aggressive vocals and a prominent distorted guitar to give it a strong ska punk feel.

While Alone in a Crowd suffers slightly from lacking a huge amount of stylistic range, “Wreck of the Sloop John B” is a fantastic aberration, a really fun ska punk-ified cover and tongue-in-cheek takedown of The Beach Boys’ classic.

This album also sounds like

Catch 22 sounds a lot like Streetlight Manifesto, which makes perfect sense as Kalnoky would go on to form that band. Both are great, as is a fantastic if short-lived side project called Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, which came in at #863 of the best 1,000 albums ever.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Catch 22’s Alone in a Crowd

Alone in a Crowd includes a pretty good song called “Bloomfield Ave.” As I am in insane fan of The Sopranos, the mere mention of the northern Jersey street (Catch 22 hail from Jersey, which makes sense) takes me back to the days of Tony, Chrissie, Carm, Artie, and all our other old wiseguy favorites.

This Uproxx piece does an amazing job of giving us some history about Bloomfield Ave. generally and its importance to The Sopranos.

Tony referred to it affectionately as “guinea gulch,” the street that ran through the proudly Italian neighborhood that he still felt very much a part of. Livia’s house, which was occupied by Tony and his sister Janice over the course of the show, was located just off Bloomfield Avenue, as was Junior’s sports book and the Gervasi crew’s underground casino.

It’s been called the greatest street in New Jersey, and its construction dates back to the earliest years of the 19th century, long before was named Bloomfield Avenue in the 1880s. The street is still recognized by fans of the show, who often make it a point to look for some of the show’s exteriors across the 10-mile stretch of road that runs through oft-referenced towns like Montclair, Bloomfield, and West Caldwell.

Some stats & info about Catch 22 – Alone in a Crowd

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Ska Punk, Ska, Third Wave Ska Revival, Pop Punk, Punk Rock, Rock Music, Alternative Rock
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating2.5 out of 5 stars(!!)
  • When was Alone in a Crowd released? 2000
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #806 out of 1,000

Catch 22’s Alone in a Crowd on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.