Looks like I'm branching out - those pesky Triffids no longer at the top!
1) The Blackeyed Susans, "Memories". Would that every cover were so idiosyncratic. Like the original, it's not meant to be taken all that seriously, but McComb believes every line all the same. It even comes across as sweet in some listens, but it's hard to make a case for that because of, well, the lyrics I guess. The song is a testament to the perennial mystery of songwriting and stagecraft: how does something that, in different hands, could seem juvenile and banal, seem in this rendition to be nothing less than the delivery of the most important sentiment on the planet?
2) The Blackeyed Susans, "This One Eats Souls". Even though its message may be hard to pin down precisely, the mood is clear enough: somewhere inside is the fear that it's all basically meaningless. McComb's lyrics grow more precise with each year, and here trade raw anguish for a subtler, more insidious sense of gloom. And honestly, even if he didn't add anything beyond the title, I would still be moved.
3) The Go-Betweens, "Finding You". It's something of a cliche to acknowledge the mysterious movements of the heart, but at the same time it feels like one of those veins that never dries up, just waiting to be rediscovered generation after generation; how else to explain the longevity of the emotion? Of course, it takes a talent to receive due instruction, and that's something McLennan long since established. So one really shouldn't be surprised that he could do justice to it in 2005. But such are the vagaries of popular music, that one grows increasingly hesitant about a songwriter's output as time goes by. No reason to fear when it comes to this group, though. This cycle of their song may be finished, but a new one just waits to be reborn.