|close your eyes|
[music, albums] May 30, 2005 9:59:00 PM CEST
XXVIII: 1998 Cat Power - Moon Pix
The other albums
An album which surprised me was Nada Surf's The Proximity Effect. This kind of power-pop still sounds extremely fresh. Lots of great songs (esp. Mother's Day with insightful and honest lyrics on rape to which I hadn't listened to before). Nada Surf are the better Weezer who come from LA as well and made similar tuneful good vibrations rock music. At least on their first release.
Almost a new discovery was the Silver Jews album American Water. D.C. Berman's funny, eloquent, poetic lyrics and his deadpan vocal delivery plus the laidback vibe of his simple but enchanting tunes make the Silver Jews the better Pavement in my book. Though I have to admit that this is the only Silver Jews I know. Steve Malkmus contributions in terms of singing and songwriting give this album more variety and make it even more loveable. My personal number three from 1998.
Next was Mark Hollis self-titled solo release which was #2 (ex aequo) in the poll. I hear the cries of a wounded deer set to a sparse almost classical instrumentation with lots of woodwind. This man knew when to stop making music. Only silence could top the brittle beauty of this great record which uses the human voice as an instrument and uses pauses and silence in an intriguing way to amplify the effect of the music. Only my #2 as I don't have the same personal relation to it as to my 1998 fave.
The first song, American Flag is the one I like less on the record. Apparently Jim and Chan had been waiting for Mick in the studio for four hours and had repeated playing that song over and over. I find it a little painful to listen to and it isn't as relaxed as the rest of the album.
With He Turns Down everything changes. The smooth, acoustic guitar and a dreamy flute are the perfect canvas for Chan's wonderful expressive voice. Nick Drake would have loved this.
No Sense is even slower. Chan sings
We made no sense
We had no sex
and despite the seemingly awkward pun it does touch me. This doesn't sound right but the song does, I swear to you.
Say is a little on the dull side. It features some thunder and it is okay in the course of things. Preserving the slack atmosphere.
The guitar on Metal Heart sounds like the morning dew on the rose petal of Chan's voice. Without the kitsch this description might enunciate.
Back of Your Head has a simple, innocent, lullabyish tune and lyrics hinting to an ominous experience Chan Marshall had with the other sex when she was much younger.
Moonshiner is a slomo blues on drinking. Romanticizing booze. I have problems to listen to the lyrics. I hope Chan has them too to sing this song. It's easier to just listen to the tune.
You May Know Him is the most religious of the songs. I see it as an interlude but it could well be more.
The grave piano ballad Colors and the Kids follows next. But is has some life-affirming lyrics
It must just be the colors
And the kids that keep me alive
Cause the music
Is boring me to death
Cross Bones Style is the most hypnotic song. Again it juxtaposes a light, almost bright melody with lyrics alluding to a life-shattering experience.
Peking Saint, a short lo-fi guitar ballad finishes this album off. Not the greatest of all songs but a fitting end for this wonder of intimate, personal songwriting.
Here is the overview of the series 40 years, 40 albums of which part XXVIII was this post.
last updated: 4/30/17 6:47 PM
contact: alex63 at bigfoot dot com
40 years, 40 albums
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