tremble clef

Monday, February 20, 2006

Andy Bell, "Electric Blue" (2005)

The verses on this, frankly, are a little boring. "Eyes wide electric baby/All dyed in cobalt blue/Stole from the Army-Navy store." The lines plod, heavy. The thumping but bassy synth only serves to drag things down further, and Andy's use of his never-stellar lower register doesn't help. The stanza ends with Andy repeating that last phrase, "Army-Navy store," holding the low note on "store." The effect is faintly absurd, for he just sounds like a fat bass opera singer emoting about a thrift store purchase.

But then, suddenly, the oppressiveness lifts. The chord changes, and we go into a bridge that's arrestingly uplifting. "When we dance to 'Supernature'/Hold your hands in space/Come on darling/I won't hate you..." It's but a moment. What comes next, which in name is the chorus, is back to being not especially memorable: some banter about dying for you and having painful feet, as the synth line kicks into, first, an electroclashy riff, and then a spiralling passage that's trying earnestly to be delirious. But that Cerrone-namechecking bit in in the bridge is nicely ecstatic -- a good bit surrounded by bad bits, enough in itself to make this the third best song on the album (behind "Crazy," of course, and "Shaking My Soul"). It's even enough to make me consider if the verses are intentionally boring, and the chorus purposefully non-descript, the better to set off the brilliance of the bridge. Nah. But for making me consider it, just for a second: well-played, Mr. Bell, well-played.

Elsewhere: I help Edward over at Enthusiastic But Mediocre review the surprisingly stodgy French Top 10, in two parts.


Post a Comment

<< Home