Sunday, May 06, 2007

Song 1: "Christmas"

OK, slight change of strategy. Someone famously said (though who remains a bit of a mystery) that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture." Fair enough, but I enjoy doing it anyway. (I also do a killer tango about Fallingwater.) So instead of the occasional "five songs" feature that you've all come to know and love -- and lord, how you love it -- I'm going to write about individual songs more often. My original plan was to choose 365 ahead of time and try to do one a day for a year, thus ensuring a certain run for the feature and that the blog would last at least one more year. But honestly, I reserve the right to bail at any time.

Today, we start with "Christmas" by Lori Carson. Last week, my brethren over at Pajiba asked readers to chip in with effective break-up songs. Being the equivocator that I am, I steered clear of trying to draft a list of songs, which might have taken many days and ended with me in the fetal position, and instead named an entire album, Carson's Where It Goes. This was her second solo effort after time spent singing with the Golden Palominos. Her debut, Shelter, suffered from cheesy production, and every one since Where It Goes has suffered from uneven-to-nonexistent songwriting. But to quote myself, this one was "stuffed with smart, bittersweet, delicately delivered songs that feel better (and by better, of course, I mean worse) after a break-up." Carson's voice is capable of being pristine, but she cracks it from time to time in a child-like way, and I'm sure some people would find this annoying.

"Christmas" is the last of 10 songs, the first nine of which detail various failures and sadnesses in relationships, so that by the time she breathily sings, "Love was hard to find, but we have," it sounds more tragic than triumphant. I know this song, and the entirety of Where It Goes, might only appeal to deep melancholics like myself. And perhaps I should've started this feature with something a bit more upbeat, like "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." Ah, well. I'll try to bring the mood up a bit with Song 2, whenever it appears.



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