Monday, July 03, 2006

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.

  • Listen to "Just Because It's Dying" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
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