Wednesday, November 12, 2008


"If I could just see straight, I'd probably head straight for the door..."

Coldplay - Viva La Vida [Viva La Vida, 2008]

I should not like this song. For a long time, I've despised Coldplay, after a moment of realisation that their lyrics were downright embarrassing. But though the whole album hasn't warmed to me, the lead single from it is much more impressive than almost all of their previous output. This isn't inane attempts at cuteness or shallow imitations of depth, but a song capturing a specific feeling via an extended metaphor: the loss of power with the loss of love, working as both literal story of a fallen king and metaphorical tale of a modern-day romantic with a broken heart. I'm honestly impressed, and I hope they keep it up.

Ben Folds - Cologne [Way to Normal, 2008]

Hearkening back to some of his older work, "Cologne" is a piece about letting go. Folds is well and truly vulnerable here, at his best, filling the song with the tiny details. There's something very touching about the countdown and the idea of both wishing for a connection ("in my hotel room I'm wondering if you read that story too, and if we might be having the same imaginary conversation...") and trying to disconnect ("I'm letting you go."). The piano and subtle strings works wonders to make this a frail, emotional piece.

Carissa's Wierd - One Night Stand [I Before E, 2004]

I've been so immersed in this year's offerings, I sometimes forget to listen to old favourites. Favourites like this bizarre tale of broken people, the type of song Carissa's Wierd does best. The male/female harmony adds to the feeling of disorientation and haziness of the titular one night stand, while adding a universal quality to the proceedings. It happens to everyone, male or female. The strings and guitars mourn in the background. Beautiful.

And don't forget, search for more at The Hype Machine; purchase albums or mp3's at Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amie St., cdbaby, or Insound.

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