I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

It's starting to grow up

POP EXPLORED. Part five. Enough Christmas Mozart; time to excavate youth’s psyche. Positive things to say about these three.

Machine. There but for the grace of God go I. (rec. Grandson Ian). But for the soul-destroying bump-bump drumming this would be an engaging song with singers who have audible characters, coherent lyrics going somewhere, a complex tune and – goodness! – choruses. Genuine musical/structural skills, singing propelled by the beat (elsewhere, often not the case), and roots in jazz’s periphery.

Now they gotta split because the Bronx isn’t fit
For a kid to grow up in.
Let’s find a place they say, somewhere far away,
With no blacks, no Jews, no gays.


Leonard Cohen. Hallelujah. Never heard him before but felt I knew the tune. Possible defect (but not for me) is it’s perhaps too well organised, not least the way the verse cleverly grows from monotone Sprechstimme into repeated melodic refrain of title. Then dares to do it again. Includes extremely professional eight-bar organ solo done at high speed. Microphone persona well studied with the rakishly angled trilby and the left fist clenched as if from arthritis. Lyrics audible but unexceptional; some kind of emotional failure deliberately understated, I assume. Hurray for the oldie!

The Smiths. How soon is now? (rec. Professional Bleeder – says it’s her favourite). A synthesised wobble-board, later tricked out with bell textures, provides the background. Usual dull drumming. Pleasingly masculine rather than androgynous, twittery voices. Lasts 6 min. 48 seconds but lyric fragmentation means much of track is instrumental. Quite literate lyrics easily misunderstood: I am the Sun, and the Air turns out to be:

I am the son, and the heir,
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar,
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular.

4 comments:

Rouchswalwe said...

Have you listened to the Hothouse Flowers? The first song I heard was "I'm Sorry" ... has a little piano thrown in ... good stuff.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6wFR7cUfE8

Avus said...

Regarding L.C. - thoughtful and fair comment BB (just cannot get used to that name change yet)

"Hurrah for the oldie" indeed!

The Crow said...

Heavens! How did I miss this post?!

My daughter's middle name is Suzanne, from LC's song of the same name.

When I wanted to feel intelligent, I brought out his albums. I think he sounds even better now, with his gravelly voice and halting phrasings due to breathing difficulties. His "Hallelujah" brings me to my knees, and shreds my heart every single time I hear him sing it.

"Suzanne takes you down, to her place by the river…"

Compare:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP9zfmTry8w&feature=related year 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otJY2HvW3Bw&feature=related year 1970s

mike M said...

Short piece on the evolution of LC's "Hallelujah". It's all on the page, no need to click links. I find the song interesting on a few levels: the description of musical intervals (the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift)....the sexual nature of the later added verses, religious references, praising the god of song. A masterpiece in my opinion. I find Machine song unbearable, Smith's not so bad. Better than most Smith's songs.
http://www.rsrevision.com/hallelujah.htm