the first song on this album, the weakest shade of blue; written out on a sticky note and attached to the back of a photo of him; was what made us both realise we had fallen in love. these were the words:
won’t you come away with me and begin something we can’t understand?
i’m lonely as the irish sea and as willing as the sand
could it be so wrong, so wrong?
won’t you come unbury me?
could you light me up like a lemon grove?
save you from the dreamy life to the hardest love you can ever know
we were flipping through the photo album when he spotted it. his face belied knowing, with a cute smile; i was coy. it was just after the album was released.
have i already explained that the relative lack of popular and critical acclaim of pernice brothers is one of the greatest musical travesties of the past fifteen years? this particular album saw them providing constant gratification through quick beats, bass, beautiful guitar riffs and spectacular vocals and lyrics.
i’ve already covered a couple of songs from this album that appeared on other things, including sometimes i remember, which i’ve now concluded is like the cure of just like heaven. there is also a combination of the cure and a little of the smiths on one foot in the grave. these are joe’s homage, rather than parody.
on a few occasions, there’s also some more lounge, a la dave graney last night. take how to live alone as an example. read the lyrics and think you’re going to hear a minor key quiet ballad – instead, you get washed out guitars, a shuffling soft drum beat, and plenty of da da das. then there’s the previously cited near-funk of blinded by the stars.
perhaps the strongest song is baby in two, which bears several listens to grasp how spectacularly beautiful the whole construction is. the elements are stellar, and prove to be perfect in combination. let me explain… sometimes it’s better not to know, holding onto something when you should just let go. it is the minor key gem on the album, replete with the blunt honesty that pernice is capable of, such as, ten years picking at the seam, trying to wake the kid messing up my wet dream. it’s brutal to hear – for self-realisation, and for recognition of the problems between two people.
the album ends with number two. it feels just like the last song on an album – you know how some songs are perfectly placed there? it contains a bit more of the rock rather than pop side of the band, but the songwriting and lyrics are joe’s through and through. it’s a broken relationship; he recognises the futility and power-drain of knowing her; yet he wants to see her again. after rollicking through the ups and downs, it ends abruptly on that note.
it’s a perfect distillation of everything that makes this band worth knowing intimately.