I’m really enjoying our new acquisition Wish, on multiple levels – musically there’s so much on there that’s lovely, and even the stuff that’s not I think is the way it is to reinforce the story told by the lyrics – e.g. Wendy Time isn’t exactly a beautiful song, but the quacking Donald-Duck type guitars and the dissonance and ner-ner-ness of the thing just goes with the portrait of an insufferable attempt at manipulation, which the narrator is wise to, which in turn makes me go, “Hooray!” because how many people fall for that, not just once but repeatedly…
It’s mostly like aromatherapy for your ears (not roses or geranium, and nothing fake with phthalates from the chemistry lab either, more like sandalwood and boronia), while the lyrics to most of the songs are written with great care, go well as stand-alone poetry, and make you think. If there’s a main theme, I think it’s interpersonal relationships and the human condition…but I would think that – it’s like, “What do you see?”
ANOTHER LOOK AT THE HEAD ON THE DOOR I’m on a slightly early teabreak, owing to The Head On The Door being barely over 35 minutes long. I’ve listened again after putting it away for six weeks, and today’s impression was a bit more favourable than my earlier impressions of this album.
Frame of mind and whether you’re giving something your complete attention are just two of the things that can change the way we respond to something – and this morning, I was in “go with the flow” mode, and I was not giving the album my total attention – I was doing some weeding, a necessary chore during spring flush even if you’re doing weed-avoidant permaculture stuff. Of course, weeding isn’t all-bad; it yielded a couple of tubs of livestock fodder, and quite a few tubs of organic material for the compost heap – bringing carbon back to the ground and getting nutrients recycled, while making oodles of compost worms happy.
Going largely backwards through a decades-long back catalogue after falling in love with a latter-day album is the reverse of how it generally works with music, but run-of-the-mill with literature. It’s like starting Dickens with Great Expectations, or Shakespeare with Hamlet, and then backtracking to their earlier work. In literature, nobody expects you to fetishise the first couple of efforts by an author and then bemoan the rest of their work, but that’s standard procedure for some music aficionados, in the context of contemporary music. Why is that?