Monday, May 29, 2006

This is real-life

This marks the first-post in an on-going theme of songs that are more spoken-word than most music you'll find. They all tend to have indie/rock sensibilities, the emotions made all the more palpable due to their spoken-word nature. The first of these is a mixture of spoken-word and singing, but I believe it's a nice choice to ease you in.

Okkervil River

Okkervil River - For Real

The tension is there from the beginning. The tentative voice is hiding its underlying emotion, but not very well. The guitar is turned up too loud, the amplifier is set to eleven - Spinal Tap style. The softly stroked chords come out louder than you'd expect for such tender playing. The guitarist stabs at the strings - you knew it was coming but you didn't know it would come so suddenly; you see the unveiling of the tension but it's still there and it remains there. Everything makes sense after the solo. But you're still just listening to the voice.

You hear no words, just noise. You hear a wounded tiger, trapped in a net, just trying to escape. It's a plaintive cry and you don't care what's being said, you don't want to spoil it; you can feel this music inside you - you know it makes sense. You want to cry, but this isn't a crying song - the drums, the guitars, the synths carry it along and its about redemption, it's about letting go.

The song ends; you feel better - cleansed but still on edge. You take a drink, it's too diluted, you make it stronger, you drink it up, you drink it straight, you take the edge off - just about - you get drunk you put the song on again and you start shouting at your friends, "I heard someone say this was the best single of last year. It really is. What do you mean you don't agree? What do you mean you don't... I need to lie down, I need to curl up, I'm going to bed, I'm going to sleep, don't wake me. Please, don't wake me..."

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