Saturday, July 22, 2006

I’m Ready (1980) – Kano

From the dancefloor of an interplanetary discotheque emanate handclaps and an undulating synth intro (that later anchored Tag Team’s 1993 party anthem, “Whoomp! There It Is”), in pulses sent out as signals to notify other life forms that a boogie of cosmic import is forthcoming. In accordance therewith, razor-crisp drums kick in, escorting nipping keyboard pecks into the atmosphere as a shoveling bassline arrives to scoop in and progressively dig out a subterranean groove from deep within the host planets’ cores. As extraterrestrials boogie alongside humanoids, they partake of the funk that orbits in spheroids of falsetto/baritone voices, filter-swept and LFO synthesizers, and a periodic vocoder refrain that announces its standby status in anticipation of robotic missions. In an amicable space-disco invasion, “I’m Ready” spreads infectious intergalactic goodwill while dispersing its sonic probes in colonization of uncharted star systems.

  • Not available from iTunes Music Store.
  • Friday, July 14, 2006

    The Bones Of An Idol (2005) – The New Pornographers

    With melody mystical and imagery allegorical, The New Pornographers revisit a mythology that once inspired a quest for something seemingly unattainable. When reasons to continue the endeavor are no longer apparent, introspection can resurrect a dream laid to rest, renewing purpose. The yen for worldly renown has lain dormant for some time, but the thirst of aspiration has not been completely quenched. Like a talisman of reinvigoration with which Indiana Jones would abscond, remains of forgotten zeal are excavated, but the opportunities for exploitation have dwindled from disuse.

    Needless to say, any song graced with Neko Case’s vocals already enjoys an eminent distinction. And, from its hammering eighth-note piano chords that chisel away over a bedrock of steadily advancing drums, to the elastic guitar refrain that warps gently in lieu of a chorus and the vocal layers that overlap to preserve the finds, “Bones” spurs an expedition that unearths sought-after relics of ambition. The bones of an idol are once again becoming comfortable in this skin.

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  • Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (1993) – U2

    Embedded on 1993’s underrated Zooropa, “Stay” yields one of U2’s more persuasive moments post-The Joshua Tree. The Edge’s curtailed flecks of guitar and Adam Clayton’s creeping bassline intertwine like gear cogs that apply torque to the vectorial plod of Larry Mullin, Jr.’s drums, as they forge ahead through the somnolence. Drenched in drowsy reverb that carries to the furthest reaches of night, Bono’s punchdrunken drawl emits gently as it professes messianic intentions. “Stay” loiters in the parking lots of seedy vacant motels, hanging around in a stale milieu of urban decay, a sprawl of psychological blight, a cesspool of spiritual decadence. Bono commiserates with a young woman who has become apathetic toward, and incapable of, human interaction, preferring instead to experience life through the filter of commercial media. A Rorschach blot of nebulous guitar slowly crescendos in a subtle accretion of soporific reverb. As he projects arcs of e-bow, The Edge lofts background vocals that plummet from escarpments carved of emotional erosion. Bono fancies himself a savior who would deliver the damsel from her stagnancy. However, his self-assuredness fails to stave off another evening of escapist depravity that trips her up in a tangle of intoxication.

  • Listen to "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
  • Sunday, July 09, 2006

    Reunion (1999) – Korea Girl

    Although sharing a title and subject matter with a Stars song, whereas Torquil Campbell attends his high school reunion with an agenda, Elizabeth Yi throws her invitation away in the trash, but continues to haul around the debris of high-school alienation. Yi knows that she hasn’t achieved in ten years what the corporate sell-outs will announce with the badges of their BMWs and Benzes, hasn’t given up on her dreams by starting a family like the ones her classmates will proudly display in photos. Yet, her band hasn’t achieved the indie recognition she had counted on to compensate for eschewing a charmed yuppie life. In short, her social status vis-à-vis her popular classmates remains unchanged—they will still sneer at her with superciliousness, condescendingly feign interest in her life, then whisper snide remarks behind her back. Nor has her contempt for them waned: “Why would I spend more time / with people that I hate, couldn’t wait to leave behind?” To break the tension, guitarist Tobin provides a warm-fuzzy solo from the school of Dean Wareham. While Yi concludes with a tinge of sarcasm, there’s also a hint of envy in her voice: “Beautiful / you were / popular / in school / So cool.” She hasn’t yet given up on the American dream; it’s just that hers was crafted on cassette tapes in bedrooms, rather than predetermined by career guidance counselors and Ivy League educations.

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  • The End Of The World (1963) – Skeeter Davis (Sylvia Dee/Arthur Kent)

    A piano revolves sullenly on an axis of heartbreak as Skeeter Davis plaintively ponders how life can be so insensitive to her misery, carrying on unabated when she no longer has anything to live for. A heavyhearted Davis sinks under the weight of her melodramatic millstone, happening upon a bridge that solicits consolation with classic country woe-is-me-ism, crying steel guitar tears that are dried with wipes of violin. Despite its exaggerated sense of calamity, the egocentric self-pity that pervades “The End of the World” is one that is globally understood, and at some point or another, universally suffered.

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  • Saturday, July 08, 2006

    Underwater (2006) - Ghostface Killah

    Ghostface Killah, Wu-Tang Clan’s prolific assassin, portrays a drug smuggler shot during an offshore trafficking exchange gone wrong, who falls overboard and begins a phantasmagorical descent toward his spiritual fate. Guided by “mermaids with Halle Berry haircuts,” he witnesses a chimerical world of mergirls sporting pearls and Gucci belts, Spongebob in a Bentley Coupe (whose girl checks out Ghostface, prompting Spongebob to bitch-slap her), treasures and vessels (including Noah’s Ark and relics from the Titanic), finally reaching Atlantis where Muslims worship, welcoming him with Qur’ans and Torahs—the respective religious texts of Islam and Judaism, whose followers on earth are diametrically opposed politically. Producer MF Doom (of Madvillain) conjures a mysterious dragnet of Charlie’s Angelesque flute samples (from “Just A Love Child” by Bobbi Humphrey) and a spectral mermaid voice. It’s fitting that Ghostface depicts an aquatic scene: his album’s title, Fishscale, refers to Peruvian Fishscale—a form of cocaine—bridging the drug reference with the fishscales of a mermaid’s tail. Although he eventually reaches the promised land, it’s unclear whether he means to suggest that the Islamic religion is the only true one, or whether it, and Judaism, are as illusory as the underwater hallucinatory scene he just witnessed.

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  • Monday, July 03, 2006

    4th of July (1987) – X

    (Part One of the From Matrimony To Alimony trilogy)

    In this country-tinged round of barroom rock, John Doe deplores a loveless marriage with the same blue-collar strife and pregnant details that Springsteen brings to the table. Doe can’t identify the exact moment of defeat, only the entirety of the ebb. As he reflects upon their quandary, he is reminded of the carefree trivialities that once enlivened their relationship. Perhaps she can remember as well. He goads her to partake of the Fourth of July festivities, hoping to tap into the celebratory spirit abounding and alleviate the symptoms, if not cure the malady. He just hopes this isn’t the day she declares her independence.

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  • Just Because It’s Dying (2002) – Jenny Toomey with Franklin Bruno

    (Part Two of the From Matrimony To Alimony trilogy)

    Along with Stephen Merritt, Franklin Bruno is one of the modern-day American songwriters who excels in vivid metaphors and clever wordplay that appease the intellect. His colleague and occasional collaborator, Jenny Toomey (of Tsunami/Grenadine/Liquorice/Simple Machines/Slack/Geek/solo fame), undertook to record renditions of twelve old and new Bruno compositions. One of the highlights of this association, “Just Because It’s Dying” (from Bruno’s 2000 release Kiss Without Makeup) offers encouragement to those who have lost the passion in their relationship and are on the fence as to whether it’s time to cut ties.

    When the heat of July just gets you more sweaty than steamy, it’s time to rediscover the sparks that once flew: “When you see the fireworks fizzle / hit the lake, and start to sizzle / don’t you wish for one last missile / to illuminate the sky? / So do I.” Depicting love as tangible, Bruno appeals to the rational side of the debate that promotes salvaging over scrapping, knowing that rash decisions grounded in emotion are more likely to be erroneous ones. Toomey sings with empathetic compassion, backed by Bruno himself, former-Tsunami member Amy Domingues, and members of Calexico, who lay down a blanket of sauntering acoustic chamber pop. Aside from their lyrical wit, Bruno’s songs cast memorable melodic hooks as well: Toomey’s swooning inflection (“do you?” and “to you”) bait the heart, while tender moments of gently nudged melody in the transitional refrain reel it in. Once landed, Bruno’s not inclined to throw it back just yet.

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  • Theme From A Summer Place (1960) – Percy Faith and His Orchestra

    If you were born in the ‘50s, ‘60s, or even ‘70s, there’s a good chance you heard this playing at an outdoor mall while shopping with your mother, or wafting from a transistor radio in the kitchen while she whipped up some Toll House cookies. This July 4th, why not make “Theme From A Summer Place” the theme for your summer place while you grill tasty treats for your friends and family to enjoy? With its leisurely rhythmic waltz, dreamy flutes and French horns, and strings swaying gracefully in the breeze, “Theme From A Summer Place” is sure to soothe and delight your guests as they lounge by the pool, nursing tall, cool refreshments in anticipation of the evening’s fireworks display your neighbors are sure to put on at the block party! “Theme From A Summer Place”—no mid-summer’s backyard barbeque is complete without it!

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  • John Riley and the Housewives Who Love Him (2003) – Baskervilles

    (Part Three of the From Matrimony To Alimony trilogy)

    In “John Riley and the Housewives Who Love Him,” Baskervilles don their Belle & Sebastian cap, as singer/guitarist Rob Keith pouts sardonically to the strains of haunting chamber pop. Notably, Craig Van Orsdale’s sweetly sibilant hi-hats and richly pinging ride cymbal sparkle in exceptionally recorded brilliance. Anti-climactic one-two jabs of guitar and tom-tom punctuation following the refrain reflect the songs theme of unmet expectations. Keith depicts John Riley as a Hugh Grant-type that women daydream about and men resent, waiting for him to slip up so that the tabloids can humiliate him. Keith reduces Riley’s accomplishments to how many gossip rags he moves at the checkout stand. But, Riley’s true appeal lies in providing a daily diversion for women who live vicariously through his publicized affairs as they sleepwalk through stale marriages. Keyboardist/violinist/vocalist Stephanie Finucane chimes in to explain women’s idolization of John: “Reading about him beats the doldrums that set in / Glad we’re not alone even though romance has gone,” to which Keith retorts sarcastically on behalf of their husbands: “That’s right. I mean, why work hard / when it’s ‘til death do we part? / Our love life can’t compare to John’s.” Although men may teem with cynicism and sarcasm, the irony is that, quite possibly, they covet as much as they contemn.

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  • Sunday, July 02, 2006

    Overture/Going Through The Motions (2001) – Sarah Michelle Gellar (Joss Whedon)

    There’s ennui in the vampire slayer business and Buffy Summers has come down with a case of the blahs. While Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s musical episode, Once More With Feeling, boasts more complex and entertaining fare (“I’ve Got A Feeling/Bunnies/If We’re Together,” “I’ll Never Tell,” “Something To Sing About”), opening number “Going Through The Motions” whets the appetite by alluding to the puns, visual gags, and inside jokes that cater to viewers’ knowledge, as well as showcase Buffy creator Joss Whedon’s surprising brilliance as a songwriter with a knack for the tongue-in-cheek musical jocularity of The Simpsons. With its refined orchestration, and in true Hollywood soundtrack tradition, the overture foreshadows a central theme to be revisited later in the episode (“Something To Sing About”). The episode itself weaves in the series’ ongoing storyline, and this song in particular epitomizes Buffy’s chronic grievance as she kicks vampire and demon ass while nonchalantly strolling through the cemetery, yearning for a deeper purpose in life.

    Sure, Sarah Michelle Gellar is no more accomplished a singer than, say, Winona Ryder is an actress. But hey, at least Sarah’s chosen profession isn’t singing. (Sorry, Noni—loved ya in Beetlejuice, Heathers, and to a lesser extent Edward Scissorhands, but it’s been all downhill since then). Gellar’s voice is tenuous, unsophisticated, nasally, and comes off like that of a girl starring in a backyard play—endearing qualities all. But, importantly, she is able to remain fairly within the neighborhood of the twin suburbs called timing and tune, where Buffy vanquishes the undead as she strolls down the boulevard, cutting a svelte figure that has a promising spot as musical guest on Sesame Street singing a duet with Count Von Count.

  • Listen to "Overture/Going Through The Motions" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
  • In My Time Of Dying (1975) – Led Zeppelin

    Robert Plant, half-drunk with bottle of whiskey in hand, attempts to cajole his way into Heaven, hoping that his hard-living ways will not bar his entry. Jimmy Page, on the other hand, loafs on the devil’s porch, knowing his obsession with the occult has already sealed his fate. What begins as a bluesy spiritual that takes its time in winding down the bayou to reach the levee, soon ruptures into a slide guitar wankfest featuring the lambasting that drummer John Bonham inflicts upon his kit—igniting his hi-hats in a fiery sizzle, cudgeling his kick drum in rhythmic knocks that pound on Heaven’s door, launching assaults on his snare that outright try to bust the door down. All the while Page tries to sear a hole in the guarded portal with a howling, crowing, squalling conflagration of dirty slide guitar. The interplay between Bonham and Page that feeds the inferno does nothing in furtherance of their admission through the Pearly Gates, but they make a devilishly convincing case to be Hell’s house band.

  • Not available from iTunes Music Store.
  • Snowden (2005) – Doves

    On 2005’s Some Cities, Doves out-Coldplay, Coldplay. While the latter’s 2005 release, X & Y, indicates an artistic dégringolade—between appropriating wholesale Kraftwerk’s “Computer Love” riff (down to the key) and Chris Martin’s apparent relinquishment of lyric-writing duties to Gwyneth, or just as likely, daughter Apple—Doves take aim at the soar-core crown, exploiting the timbral similarity of Jimi Goodwin’s dampened intonation to Martin’s.

    The song’s title references a character from Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch-22, whose rather gruesome death as a World War II fighter pilot was pivotal to the developmental crisis of the main character, Yossarian, transforming Yossarian’s attitude toward fighting in the war from patriotism to survival. At first, Goodwin assumes the roles of both men: Snowden, as he hemorrhages to death; Yossarian, as he realizes the futility of his life-saving efforts. The song dilates in epic scope, building from simple acoustic guitar strums and mermaid cove atmospherics, to disembarkment onto the shore, then a purposeful stride across the hinterland towards a dubious fate. Goodwin expands his perspective to soldiers who must go off to fight wars manufactured by their country’s government, muttering gripes beneath their breath as they sit stationed overseas. A sirenic choir of ghostly voices and Mellotronic strings coalesce in gothic beauty, serving as a soaring hook in lieu of a chorus, as mortaring drums forge ahead with clanging cymbals, escorting platoons to certain death. A squadron of troweling guitar, sinewy bass and clinking glockenspiel disintegrates into lo-fi flares of fuzz, detonating across a battlefield, followed by sustained echoes of guitar squeal that peal across the sky like wounded fighter jets emitting plumes of smoke as they plummet toward earth. Goodwin cuts back to the troops pondering their fate as they are thrown to the wolves: “If this will be our last summer / then why should we care?” However, it’s probably not concern for their own life which they are forsaking; rather, it’s more likely the justification for war that will cause them to desert the scheme of their orchestrated demise.

  • Listen to "Snowden" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
  • Tonight You Belong To Me (1956) – Patience and Prudence

    Immortalized by the ukulele-toting Steve Martin and cornet-wielding Bernadette Peters in The Jerk, “Tonight You Belong To Me” was a #4 hit for Patience and Prudence McIntyre. They were only 10 and 13 when they recorded this jaunty promenade about a romance that exists only in one’s dreams, making it as creepy as it is endearing, especially given that it sounds like the Lolitaesque siren song of a pair of Talking Tinas. Yet, endearing it is, with its irresistibly precious ambulatory two-part vocal harmonies that, like The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There,” make you forget the singers are probably without the benefit of life experience to inform their melodic musings.

  • Not available from iTunes Music Store.
  • Acoustic Guitar (1999) – The Magnetic Fields

    Quite simply one of the most clever songs ever written, “Acoustic Guitar” personifies said instrument, imploring it to “bring me back my girl,” alternating between bribery, wheedling, and threats. In between, the song ascribes virtues to the guitar, while acknowledging personal shortcomings, and humorously recalling the ex’s idiosyncrasies.

    To the uninitiated listener, the song is either a tender gender bender or lesbian lament due to Claudia Gonson’s reference to her girl. It’s even more endearing, however, when one realizes that a man wrote this song, as if he is hiding behind a female voice and a guitar to further distance himself from his inadequacies. Yet, in another twist, songwriter Stephen Merritt is gay. The genius, then, is that the song succeeds despite the fact that, in order to personally relate, most listeners will impute to it characteristics which it possesses neither in form, nor in substance—the perspective of a straight male.

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  • Achy Breaky Heart (1992) – Billy Ray Cyrus (Don Von Tress)

    Before his lead stint in PAX TV’s Doc, his cameo in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, or his role on Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana as father to his real-life daughter, Miley, Billy Ray Cyrus was most loved (and mostly reviled) for this line-dance-inducing ditty. His ridiculous physical maneuvers on stage were actually something to behold in their embarrassing awkwardness, wherein he would punctuate his performance of this song with farcical air punches and swivel to and fro with hands held aloft above head, prancing about with the grace of a tow truck driver. It’s obvious he recognized, yet decided to embrace, the song’s frivolousness—how could he not, singing such drivel. And therein lies this song’s worth: the ability to be at once so base, yet so annoyingly catchy, is an accomplishment worthy of recognition (due to Don Von Tress’ sly songwriting). The fact that he often references “Achy Breaky Heart” in Hannah Montana is all the more reason to give him props for acknowledging what it did for his career. The fact that Sonic Lager knows that he often references this song in Hannah Montana is, admittedly, all the more reason to stop reading this blog.

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  • 14 Zero Zero (1998) – Console

    As the side project of The Notwist’s Martin Gretschmann, Console reinterpreted Katacombo’s 1979 Goo-era Sonic Youthesque post-punk din, transforming it from a prototypical Kim Gordon atonal blare-fest into a precisely-programmed computer diatribe. (Interestingly, the lyrics from the original version appear to have survived almost wholly intact 20 years later, with very minor tweaks to reflect modern computer terminology.) The re-imagined “14 Zero Zero” is a dynamic Roland TR-808-driven sequence of cascading, undulating, modulating portamento pulses, bleeps, arcade blips and analog polyphony executed via modular patch-bays, MIDI-chains and SCSI conduits. With terse mockery and scorn, a software-synthesized simulated voice sarcastically contemns its user for his technological dependency and addiction. As a final parting shot, 14 0 0 taunts its user’s garbage in, gospel out mentality by spitting forth a value judgment in a catchy refrain: “i got my hard disk / with all that hard disk trash inside.”

  • Not available from iTunes Music Store.
  • Bag Lady (2000) – Erykah Badu

    With deadpan metaphorical quips, Erykah Badu chides women who haul so much emotional baggage around that they are doomed to perpetuate a vicious cycle of overbearing co-dependency that drives men away. Badu uses hobo imagery and street dialect to signify the morass of an emotional ghetto that traps in self-defeating insecurity, bereft of hope for personal advancement unless a woman first gets things right within herself. Highlighted by the classic signature of Fender Rhodes panning suitcase vibrato, the arrangement is primarily bolstered by brawny 5-string bass, sinuous blaxploitation guitar, syncopated bongos taps, and military snare rudiments. Although she acknowledges that the root of the problem lies in past betrayals, Badu encourages her sisters to ditch the bags, abandon the shopping cart, and escape the housing projects of the heart.

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  • Sharks & Sailors (1997) – June of 44

    (Part Four of the Mine Ears Have Heard The Glory of the Banging of the Drum tetralogy)

    Guitars grate, scratch, plink, hum and buzz in the waters of “Sharks & Sailors,” while a bottom-dwelling bass trolls its depths. Ex-Rodan guitarist/vocalist Jeff Mueller snarls a chantey of bemusement, but his vocals serve as punctuation to the true featured player—drummer Doug Scharin. Spurred by stretches of unconventional time signatures, Scharin lobs tom-rolls that tumble a shade earlier and a trace longer than expected. During the quieter passages, he casts a net of highly-controlled double stroke, accent and roll combinations, culminating in tom and snare hits on unforeseen offbeats. To further catch the listener unawares, the toms are tuned and mic’d in such a way that renders them devoid of resonance, like taut sails being struck. The drum monsoon that arrives 9 minutes and 7 seconds into the song is stunning. Via his atypical tom and snare strikes meshed with one-handed rolls, Scharin adds his name to the pantheon of drumming with an innovative, yet musical, non-solo performance.

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  • Souvenir (1981) – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

    (Part One of the Gorgeousness and Gloom tetralogy)

    As a small consolation to its victims, had “Souvenir” been playing on the Titanic as it succumbed to the icy waters of the North Atlantic, at least the sound of heaven would have accompanied them to their watery graves. Dabs of choppy keyboard bob beneath a sublime motif emanating in exquisite patterns that lap against a vessel of sinusoidal waveforms adrift on an oceanic soundscape of ethereal synthesized voice pads. A beat thumps starkly as Paul Humphreys vacillates laconically in dichotomies—volition vs. vicissitude, infatuation vs. indifference—in an attempt to resolve his confusion. His angst endures as a memento of his desire, impairing his sense of reason and confounding his emotions in a state of discombobulation.

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  • Saturday, July 01, 2006

    Me and the Bees (2000) – The Softies

    (Part Two of the Gorgeousness and Gloom tetralogy)

    Twee-pop icon Rose Melberg and fellow indie pop cohort Jen Sbragia susurrate in sotto voce with the dejection of girls sent to their room. A piano pensively picks out notes while a guitar gently strums crestfallenly, as the girls mope in forsaken aimlessness, given to the caprice of nature (“Now it’s just me / and the bees / in a cyclone of fallen leaves”), as love lost blows away in diaphanous traces, blue with heartache and longing.

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  • Someplace (But Not This Place) (Window Gardens Remix) (2001) – Brittle Stars

    (Part Three of the Gorgeousness and Gloom tetralogy)

    Despite her hints that she’s close to calling off the relationship, she’s still not taken seriously. So vocalist Estelle sighs wearily about being patronized: “But you said ‘Sleep on this’ / That’s what my dad would say.” She knows the nagging discomfiture portends unhappiness. While the original version lulls in its simply stated sedateness, the Window Gardens Remix restores the lush elegance implicit in the original by adding astral synthesized strings and chiming guitar, pushing the band further back in the mix, and increasing the reverb while clarifying the vocals—treatments that enhance the disconsolate beauty of an inevitable adieu.

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  • Out Walking (2003) – Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham

    (Part Four of the Gorgeousness and Gloom tetralogy)

    Yes, she provided the singing voice of Jem, served as singer for Belltower, co-starred with Julia Roberts and Justine Bateman in Satisfaction, and became Luna’s foxiest bassist. But, whatever Britta Phillips did up until the day she recorded “Out Walking” pales in comparison. For, on that day, she approached ne plus ultra.

    Phillips’ sensual, aching purr drifts in a narcotic aura of disorienting beauty, wafting in slow oscillatory gradations between melodic zeniths and nadirs with the cigarette-distressed beguilement of a femme fatale. She describes a couple’s weary apathy—his rote, her remove. On occasion, however, their romance sporadically awakens in sparks of rejuvenation, as when an old song brings those feelings flooding back.

    Spectral reverb and toasty compression envelope Phillips’ breathy emissions that wash over a substratum of Mellotron string drones, roundwound bass string heft (both courtesy of famed David Bowie producer Toni Visconti), and pendulating drum lethargy. Fellow Luna bandmate/leader Dean Wareham loiters off to the side, sparingly dispensing subtle thrums of guitar. Gliding on a draft of Mellotron flute, tintinnabulating sleighbells, and morsels of vibraphone, the instrumental break captures the enchanting otherworldliness of a winter evening in Reykjavík. Britta winds up by recalling her quondam life as the person she was referring to, at one point finessing the word “from” with such absolutely gorgeous expressiveness that it triggers shivers of synaptic bliss, suffusing the being with holistic euphoria.

  • Not available from iTunes Music Store.
  • Communication (2004) – The Cardigans

    (Epilogue to the Gorgeousness and Gloom tetralogy)

    Despite its odd and enigmatic ambiguity, “Communication” is Nina Persson’s moment of pure vocal perfection wherein she radiates the quintessence of beauty. It unfurls slowly like a country ballad playing on the jukebox of a lonely roadhouse in the purlieus of Twin Peaks. Its warm tube compression and lush reverb cradle Persson’s silken, slightly smoky voice that lingers on notes, caressing each measure with pathos (including a heart-rending, tear-welling massaging of “eye” in the second verse). 

    Portraying a woman who has searched unsuccessfully for intimacy, she finally discovers a promising soul mate. The details of their circumstance slowly begin to unfold: soon after they met, she discovered their shared heroin addiction; unbeknownst to him, she fell in love—unrequited—but at least in those moments when they were shooting-up together, they were simpatico. However, she died from an overdose. She lives on in his memories, but the presence he sometimes feels is, in fact, her supernatural attempts to let him know she is there. From her heavenly vantage point, she still believes he’ll one day realize how she felt about him, and maybe he’ll reciprocate, at least metaphysically. But, to her dismay, as difficult as conveying her feelings to him seemed in life, they are nearly impossible in the hereafter, given his unwillingness to hold a séance or consult a Ouija board. So desperate has she become, that she tries to beckon him by planting suicidal thoughts as he sleeps. All she can do is wait for death, whenever that may occur (an overdose, perhaps?), to reunite them. Such futility exacerbates the frustration of a soul who, even without corporeal existence, craves elusive companionship.

  • Listen to "Communication" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.