Saturday, January 21, 2006

You Belong With Us (1999) – My Favorite

Andrea Vaughn was blessed with the voice of an angel; Michael Grace Jr., the pen of a sage. Together they spearheaded My Favorite, a relatively obscure yet absolutely essential band from Long Island, NY in the late ‘90s to mid ‘00s. Vaughn left My Favorite in 2005 for as yet undisclosed reasons, but it seemed almost appropriate in a tragic sense for the band to meet a precipitous demise rather than risk expiring in obsolescence. “You Belong With Us” soundtracks a pariah’s embrace of the throes of suburban alienation, where the kids are comfortably numb and the detectives have gone missing.

A gentle synthesizer arpeggio slowly drifts in the darkness alongside an erratic heartbeat of modulating filtered bleeps, as drums throb a funeral processional à la The Cure circa Pornography. A guitar softly fluctuates, holding watch in the background like lit torches flickering in the distance that obscure the faces of their bearers. A saxophone, equal parts MIDI and actual woodwind, prepares us for the ceremony. Delicate notes cascade from a piano—celestial objects capitulating to the gravitational pull of a collapsing star. Andrea beckons us, her exquisite siren song gently indicting, confessing and exhorting: “[B]ut you have only stolen your party dress / and us, our synthesizers / In these towns that despise us / tonight the stars disguise us, synchronize us . . . You belong with us. . . .” She knows nocturnal mysteries hold the power to transform and renew: “Everything old is new tonight / Everyone young is blue tonight.” Perhaps having been hoodwinked, we are persuaded to enter into the conspiracy, whatever folly may await. The distinct signature of a Zoom™ effects pedal abandons us at the rendezvous, where the syndicate proceeds to initiate us into their criminal world.

  • Listen to "You Belong With Us" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
  • See also "17 Berlin" (1999) – My Favorite
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