Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Why I am as crazy as I am or You should bear that in mind tonight
(like you didn't expect this)
I can finally speak, write, with authority. All this time, without the fucking album... I have now heard it in its entirety (several times) and in the stroy-telling order Alex Tuner intended it to be heard. And, of course, it's as brilliant as it should be.
The things I hadn't heard yet: Turner sings about the girl waiting for a message in her inbox, but all you say is that "you drank a lot"; the band aren’t “aren’t very good,” but rather, they are “fucking wank.” He can sound angry—“all you people are VAMPIRES and all your stories are STALE,” he's an *almost* hopeful romantic (“Certain Romance,” even though, yes, he proclaims there ain’t no romance ‘round here, he’s right) He sounds wise beyond his years—hell, he sounds fucking wise beyond my years (I am only four years older than the guy). I feel like he sums up almost all young relationships (that I’ve known anyway) in ”Mardy Bum” (song about his grumpy ex).
What I love about Turner’s lyrics: he is articulate and he announciates; his words sound refreshingly natural and effortless, it’s young and shameless. He will sing about ringtones and inboxes and fake tans and getting loaded and getting laid (trying to, anyway)—but it’s in a way that’s clever and contemplative. And, what have I been going on and on about with the Clash, etc? The non-conventional, non-love songs. This is also Turner's m.o. There are no lovey songs on here, and I love him for it. ha.
“When The Sun Goes Down” is literate, brilliant observation-storytelling—it’s chilling realism about prostitution. I’ve never heard a song like it before. It starts all slow and sad and then builds to an angry fury of crunchy guitar. Turner sounds concerned, pissed and like he just recently opened his eyes to what’s going on the street scene.
“View From The Afternoon” has that killer opening, catchy as fuck-all: “Anticipation has a habit/ to set you OOP for disappointment.” Matt comes in with those thumping wallop of a drum sound--amazing. Later on in the song, just when you think it’s over they hit this crazy pause and then this almost dissonant guitar war that sounds like bursts of seizure. The first time I heard it, I didn’t really like it. I now love it.
I know you won’t believe me, but there are a couple songs I DON’T LOVE!! I know, I know!! “Riot Van” is too slow for my taste (Elizabeth, are you listening, Too Fast For Love Friend of mine”) and I don’t really dig "Red Light Indictaes.."
Oh, and the music. Music, music, music. (as NOEL would say…) What their music is to me: joyous, tight, heavy, punk, funk, energetic-pop, polished, genre-eclectic, beyond their years. [and as Jessica, gave the honor of saying: “more mathematic than I thought.” right on.] After the horrible, inaccurate, cynical, bitter City Pages review came out, a few of my friends let me know about it. I was pissed, then. I am more pissed now. I couldn’t contain my frustration as I listened to the record again… There was nary one word about the bloody music. So sad. Now that I’ve vented, I don’t care. I just feel sorry for people that are so embittered the feel like they need to be the ones to kick off a backlash (if there will be one, I really don’t know).
And hey, Rolling Stone hated Led Zeppelin when they arrived on the scene. And, the best example is the NME telling the Clash to “go back in the garage.” Joe Stummer wrote “Garageland” because of it. So, from the negativity...greatness can come.
Tuner, his voice, is spot on. it’s full of sexual aggression one moment and sweetness the next. and he has a heavy Northern accent. Which, everyone keeps pointing out to me (I agree with them), is exceedingly rare. Oasis, Kinks, Smiths, Pulp, Blur (even Lennon, sometimes), I argued, all have accented vocals. But none have the degree that Turner produces (“luuv,” “oooop,” “mardy bum”!?!?!) as well as a good dose of young, Northern slang. My take on it is that it’s purely natural, unaffected and I even think it’s just cuz he wouldn’t think of “changing” his voice or delivery from his speaking voice. But then again, it’s such a mystery, anyway—how and why singers from non-American countries end up singing in an American accent...
*I will gladly burn any of y'all a copy if you so wish*