tremble clef

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Crowded House, "You Are The Only One To Make Me Cry" (2007)

I keep a count of all the people I have, in the course of my work, made cry. I am up to seven and a half.

On an album full of depressed songs (the aptly-titled Time On Earth) -- but, then again, old age and the suicide of a band member will do that to you -- there may be none more downbeat than "You Are The Only One To Make Me Cry." Indeed, the song may be from the point of view of someone on the verge of leaving us: "But I have no illusions/Of where I am now/I'll let this wave take me/And draw me down." On the first chorus, the narrator seems incapable of even finishing a thought, and so the melody can only trail off anticlimatically: "You're the one to make me cry/You're the one to take me home/Of all the people in my life/The thoughts keep returning to you/But consciousness is fading fast..." In the song, the person who makes the narrator cry turns out to be the "only one" whom he hangs on for. That's a downer.

Neil Finn sings the song, which at moments sounds like -- has the same kind of resigned loveliness as -- "I Can't Make You Love Me," with a naked exhaustion that I haven't heard on any other Crowded House song. His voice is scratched and raspy, and on the chorus there are notes he doesn't hit. Needless to say, this only increases the power of the track, and his getting to the end of the song hence feels, disquietingly, like a triumph.


  • Great blog - been reading for a while, but this is my first comment.

    I really like this track a lot - and I wasn't really expecting to. I like Crowded House but have been a bit "meh" on Neil Finn's solo stuff. This track however, has a lot of raw emotion in it that is very attractive even though the song is a real downer. It reminds me, in many ways of some of the stuff on Annie Lennox's Bare album.

    By Blogger Dan, at 12:34 AM  

  • The song is almost embarrassingly naked to listen to at points, yes. And welcome to the comment box! Feel free to furnish it to your taste.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 8:46 PM  

  • This was the one that leapt out at me the first time I heard the album. I should have known your brilliant mind would have picked up on that.

    You make the kids cry!? I am sure it is out of unrequited love.

    By Blogger xolondon, at 9:23 PM  

  • Yes, I make them cry. A revelation that no other readers of the blog seem to have batted an eye about. I'm not sure what to think of that.

    But, no, it's not out of unrequited love. More like mental cruelty.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 2:45 AM  

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