you were never more than a dream
brief as summer or spring
sweeter than anything
i was going to do something special tonight. but the day was long and challenging, and i’m already over-tired. so i shall save special for later. now it’s something small and beautiful. and more covers. maybe there’s something subconscious going on…
there are merely six songs. the first is passable. the second and third are amazing. the fourth rollicks then soars in the middle. the fifth is disconcerting and woozy with echo vocals. the sixth a kind of reverential parody (which does, indeed, seem like an oxymoron).
those second and third songs are the reasons to have this held in high regard. both are in minor keys. both have a sense of urgent despair.
there’s sweeter than anything by pj harvey (yes, another continuation from last night). the guitar is spectacular, there is some kind of melodic percussion, and bonny’s voice is at its best, rising and falling beautifully. the song ends abruptly, yet in a quietening way.
then there’s bill withers’ song, same love that made me laugh, similar in some ways to the song before but even more phenomenal. organ, initially gentle rhythm, fine guitar melody over the top in parallel to bonny’s singing. it punches, picks up and maintains pace for another verse, until it reaches the emotional climax – ending suddenly again, not unlike some of robert smith’s more fraught moments. this is a song i sang in reverse, when i remembered it in sorrow and anger, to the lost men.
it helps that he was rejoined with people who made some of the best music with him, in bob arellano, mike fellows and colin gagon. this was the zenith – when he could take the creative work of people far removed from himself and fully own it, blast it, love it.
i’ve given all that i’ve got to give
and if you don’t want me, i don’t want to live
so why, why must the same love make me laugh
make me cry?