Friday, August 05, 2011

1) The Blackeyed Susans, "Every Gentle Soul". We all know McComb has his preferred subject matter, but it rarely disappoints. Because, at least to my reckoning, his lyrics rarely ring false, and convince you he lived through the anguish and felt it very deeply. The desperate statement, almost a plea, from the narrator here counts amongst his best lines on the subject. At the right moment, it can seriously shake one's constitution. The only remedy is to keep listening and wait for "Memories" to come on.

2) The Go-Betweens, "Boundary Rider". At times during the final album, McLennan gives the impression that he managed to compress all the mystery and beauty in the art of lyric writing that he picked up over the years and double its potency. I don't quite know the literal story being told here (if any), but I very much understand "the sky so deep that you can't find your sleep". As he clearly got better with age to the point of virtually floating above us anyway, one can construct comforting stories about the end that the album suggests. When all else fails, there is still the trove of melody and lyric that helps keep us walking through our tears.

3) The Triffids, "Spanish Blue". Evidence of the songwriter's softer side, in case it gets lost amongst the passion of his more definitive work, and a quaint piece of history in their development. But I don't think it's just the hopeless devotee in me that sees traces of the lyrical talent here. Summer days walking around the city, watching people strewn about the sidewalks after a busy night, and I can't help but bring some of the words to mind. And the opening lines, well, they summarize not only my current stance to distant lands, but also serve as a calling to one day return and get back to what is really important.

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