Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Year by year: 1998


I thought about this one for a few seconds. That mystical charm that Deserter’s Songs had back when I was 20 years old, is it still there? And the way I lay down in Piazza del Campo a while ago, late at night, listening to this album to the open sky and a growing sense of calm? Has that not disappeared like so many other things have?

Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips was a great collection of songs. Deserter’s Songs by Mercury Rev was a great album. The way one song started, the way another song ended, the way they all flowed into each other (and flow into each other they did). The dark wonder of the melodies and the drama and the childishness of the lyrics:

Well, she tossed all night like a raging sea
Woke up and climbed from the suicide machine

Their new album does absolutely nothing for me. It has the style and it has the tunes, but something has definitely been lost. Not relevance (not even applicable here) and not the quirkiness of Jonathan Donahue’s voice. However pathetic it way sound, what is missing is that element of magic. That mystical charm which was paramount on Deserter’s Songs and which was still felt on All Is Dream

And sometimes I think it’s all about “Opus 40”. Now if ever there has been a song that makes me feel like the happiest and most special kid on Earth…