Friday, May 08, 2009

Lost and Found

Some bad lyrics from the new Camera Obscura album:

You with your dietry restriction
Said you loved me with a lot of conviction
(from ‘French Navy’)

On the bus radio, ‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’
I laughed at the irony
But life is stupid, the irony was lost on me
(from ‘The Sweetest Thing’)

What does that mean?! Was the irony lost, or wasn’t it? What does a wheat intolerance or whatever over specific under specified thing is being referred to there, have to do with someone saying they love you, apart from that forced rhyme? Here’s another:

You kissed me on the forehead
And now I’ve got concussion
We were in love at first sight
And now this crush is crushing
(from ‘My Maudlin Career’)

Lines one, two and four of that are approximately my favourite pop lyric of all time – it is just a pity that line three makes such a nonsense of them. From love to a crush seems an inexplicable reversal.

The weird thing is though, I don’t care at all. Normally I’m as pedantic over language as the next chap – maybe even a touch more – and I could claim that this is why I’m finding it harder and harder to listen to My Maudlin Career with each new day. But that’s not it. It’s the swell and the ache and the liquid reverb, the voice melting into violins melting into soft soft guitar. And horns! I haven’t been so pleased to hear horns since The Sundays’ ‘Summertime’. In this interview, Tracyanne Campbell says ‘it’s a get together knowing fine well it should end, or it’s going to end, and then it does’ record, which of course is the reason why all of this works so well. To be so overwhelmed by a big pop sound, I don’t know what to compare it to – ‘Ten Storey Love Song’, ‘Baby, I Love You’. Mixed with a hurt as big as Billie Holiday’s on Lady in Satin, or Lucinda Williams’ on ‘Sharp Cutting Wings’. Pick your own unhappy love song. At the end a line so simple and perfect you could forgive anything:

I wish my heart was cold
But it’s warmer than before
(from ‘Honey in the Sun’)

Around and around it goes.

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