tremble clef

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lucky Soul, "Add Your Light To Mine, Baby" (2007)

Given the instanteously hooky nature of Lucky Soul's music -- the Spectorish, 60s girl group sound overstuffed with smudged lipstick and tear-stained mascara melodrama -- it seems only apt to do a real-time review of their The Great Unwanted album, doesn't it? Yes. Yes, it does. (Of course, the fact that quite a few songs surfaced in advance of the album -- as demos, singles, b-sides -- and are thus not being heard for the first time, takes away from the concept a little, but whatev.)

00:01 - Drumroll! (Literally.) Bluh bluh bluh BLUH BLUH!!! Oh, glorious horns. I've missed you since...the last record with glorious horns. Actually, they sound a little bit like Pet Shop Boys' "Saturday Night Forever."

00:13 - "Add your light to mine, baby, add your light to mine! Add your light to mine, and together we could shine!" I'm not quite sure why she says "could" instead of "will," but it adds a slight tentativeness to the song that makes it even more charming.

01:25 - I love the little breakdown: "dun dun DUN," then the "tock tock tock" bit. Wheee!

02:01 - Ooh, the music and vocals go up a half step, just to keep things interesting. Never noticed that before now. God, this is really their best song, and luckily getting a proper release as the next single. Dare we hope that it'll be this year's "Pull Shapes"?

02:27 - What an excellent title: "One Kiss Don't Make a Summer," which obviously plays off of that "one swallow..." proverb. Right? It does, doesn't it? Real time means NO TIME TO GOOGLE, PEOPLE. The bomb might go off at any second.

03:05 - Anyway, the heartbreaking lyrical conceit is that her friends tell her that she shouldn't fall for the guy too quickly, because it was just one kiss. Don't I know it.

05:03 - We get one of those parts where her vocals come in short, sharp bursts as the music punctuates those outbursts. Tres emotional.

06:15 - "What am I supposed to do? What am I suposed to do?" Awesome song, awesome end.

06:17 - Track three, "Struck Dumb," has appeared as the b-side of the "Ain't Never Been Cool" single, but it's far from a filler track on the album.

07:40 - Like the previous song, the slower, more sedate verses are counterposed against much more distraught choruses. This one's an especial gem: she sings, "I want you so bad that it hurts!" and the male backing vocalists go like this: "URGH URGH URGH!!!!" And she goes "dumb dumb dee do woah woah." Everybody's been struck dumb, you see.

09:07 - Oh, "Lips Are Unhappy"! We know this one too.

09: 43 - The title is such a great tin pan alley kind of phrase: "lips are unhappy without you." Clearly, it's a kind of coping mechanism: if I can detach and imagine that it's just my kissless lips that are unhappy, maybe I can pretend the rest of me is fine. (No luck. Turns out the rest of me is not doing too hot either.)

12: 20 - Everybody join in the marvellous outro! "Shake shake shimmy..." (Just chanted at first, then slowly building up into a more definite melody.)

12:44 - "My Darling, Anything." One to stagger drunkenly around an empty ballroom to.

13:42 - Man, great chord change, and I don't usually recognize those even when they bite me on my proverbial ass.

14:35 - The "surrender surrender" bit randomly reminds me of Bomb The Bass's "Don't Make Me Wait." Random, I told you.

15:00 - "You, got to remember/I've got a heart condition/Just listen closer/Every fourth beat [here the beat of course drops out] is missing/If it ain't missing then it skipskipskipskipskipskip..." And THEN horns come in, because this part wasn't nearly awesome enough. No, sorry, THIS song has the best outro.

15:53 - Oooh, first song that's new to me: "Get Outta Town!"

16:19 - This one is racuous, all growling bass. It's practically punk rock.

16:20 - Or at least the closest the band has come to being The Primitives.

16:21 - Do I like it? Maybe it's too shambolic for me. This one needs at least a second spin.

18:08 - "I'll kiss you once! Alright, I'll kiss you twice!" An Irresistible Bit.

19:00 - Okay, I'm won over. She does need to watch it with the slight shrieking, though. But there's cheering at the end, and I join in.

19:38 - Title track time. As good as when it first leaked, and notable for the locution "a life less boring." (I'm a sucker for Latinate syntax, what can I say.) Which means that I can use this to take a deep breath so that I don't pass out from all the excited hyperventilating.

23:20 - "We will not be ignored." I hope not.

23:28 - Twangy, reverby guitar chords open the next track, "Baby I'm Broke." They remind me of "Bang Bang," so my mind starts imagining Nancy Sinatra covering this one.

24:58 - We're in lighter-waving territory with this one, I think. The organ that rumbles underneath will do that to you.

27:43 - Dur-rum-BAM! Ah, the song the band wrote just for me: "My Brittle Heart."

28:23 - The backing vocals on this kill me all over again. "Honey honey," she cries, and the backing vocalists come in, all "aaaah aaahh!" and then even a few "shoop shoop"s. I'm so cheap.

28:56 - "I need you more, than a life raft needs the shore." I can't decide if that's a good or bad line. Fortunately the debate in my head gets cut short by the return of the "shoop shoop"s.

30:57 - "Ain't Never Been Cool"! You can't see me, but I'm totally doing the frug.

31:40 - Oh, you know what happened? My virginity grew back this past week.

31:42 - Just wanted to see if you're still paying attention.

34:01 - "The Towering Inferno" begins like she's channelling Gwen Stefani in one of her curtesy voice moments. Or maybe Cyndi Lauper.

34:05 - Man, Gwen owes a lot to Cyndi, doesn't she?

35:10 - This track is not working as well so far. The lyric is less in the moment, and as a result somehow more indulgent: "the towering inferno will one day consume me." Hmmm. Show, don't tell.

35:43: Yeah, she's crossing the line into shrieking here, although perhaps track 10 on such a unabashedly melodramatic album was always going to do so.

36:51 - Okay, we'll calling this The Weak Track.

36:55 - A lot of the songs do follow a certain trajectory: start off more mid-tempo, then rachet up the tempo and drama, trashes around very tunefully, and falls down a bit drunk. Just like me every Friday evening.

37:20 - "It's Yours." On which she tells us that everything we ever wanted, it's ours, and means it too. The rumbling organ returns, though the effect this time is more heartfelt than regretful.

41:10 - I'm definitely back to enjoying things again.

41:50 - Even slower and more placid, "The Last Song" comes along to close the album. We're down to strummy acoustic guitar and rumbling organ here. She sounds, if it's possible, even more weary and bruised than she did at the start of the album.

43:46 - Oooh, piano and slide guitar. To break what's left of my heart, presumably.

45:40 - "The penultimate beat of the drum/When the second to last part is strummed/And when all other words have already been heard/I'll sing the last song for you." Bless.

46:17 - Except we now get the obligatory few minutes of silence before the hidden track kicks in.

47:00 - While we wait, can I just tell you that we are finally getting the Barbara Walters Oscar special on TV this weekend, so all month long they've been torturing us with preview clips, and each time Baba Wawa leans in to Jay Z, bugs her eyes out, and says, "Do you find Beyoncé 'bootylicious'?!" a small part of me dies in the midst of the hysterical laughter.

48:18 - We go even gentler: a pretty acoustic lullably to really end things. A clock ticks away in the background, and a toy piano tinkles us to sleep. Sweet.

6 Comments:

  • Have you *ever* been happier than you are listening to this album? :-)

    By Anonymous esque, at 1:35 AM  

  • Heh, I'm always excited when I listen to new albums! I'm excitable! Okay, I was probably a bit more excited about this one; indeed, I was trying to capture some of that giddiness with a real time review, although in retrospect the entry underlines why more critical reviews require time for music to sink in. Because: good grief do I ramble on in this. Sorry, readers!

    By Blogger Brittle, at 1:56 PM  

  • This is going to take work, to figure what you are actually reviewing here. My current fave is "My Darling, Anything"

    By Blogger xolondon, at 8:58 PM  

  • Found this while slavishly searching Technorati for "Lucky Soul"... Have to say, Towering Inferno is actually one of my favourites off the album - give it a few listens. It;'s a hairbrush classic!

    By Anonymous Jenny Mash, at 10:46 PM  

  • "My Darling Anything" is astonishing. I heard it a while back - I hope the album version is the same as the one I heard a few months back.

    By Blogger Edward, at 6:36 PM  

  • I think I have the demo version of "My Darling," and don't recall it being that different. The outro is still UNPARALLED. In general, none of the songs differ that much from demos except for being glossier, obviously. In the case of "Towering Inferno," maybe this isn't necessarily good -- I think the fuller band encourages her to be a bit more screechy (sorry, Jenny!).

    By Blogger Brittle, at 7:31 PM  

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