Monday, August 14, 2006

Oy vey.

I just got a taste of two leaked Decemberists tracks from their new album, their first after signing with Capitol Records, due out on October 3rd -- "O, Valencia" and "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)." I found them whilst on The Hype Machine, and the blogger who posted them said get 'em while you can before he gets the cease and desist. FYI, they are gone already, but if you want to hear them you know how to contact me. Back off, RIAA.

In a nutshell, I am disappointed. The songs are catchy, poppy even -- but sadly, nothing I would keep on my radio if I had the ambition to get up and change the station. The most important question here however is where oh where are the lyrics?

I don't understand how one goes from this:

Medicating in the sun
pinched doses of laudanum
longing for the old fecund-ity of my homeland
Curses to this mirage!
A bottle of ancient Shiraz
a smattering of distant applause
is ringing in my poor ears

On the old left bank
my baby in a charabanc
riding up the width and length
of the Champs Elysees

or this:

And here in Spain I am a Spaniard
I will be buried with my marionettes
Countess and courtesan
have fallen 'neath my tender hand
when their husbands were not around

But you, my soiled teenage girlfriend
or are you furrowed like a lioness?
And we are vagabonds
We travel without seatbelts on
We live this close to death

to this:

You belong to the gang
And you say you can't break away
But in here with my hands
On my heart

And our families can agree
I'm your brother's sworn enemy
But he shouts out my love
To the stars

Even Colin Meloy's trademark nasally twang and whine in his voice has been smoothed out into a pedestrian purr.

Goo. Maybe they will grow on me. Though, I must admit, Bauhaus' two new tunes they trotted out for their summer shows with NIN hit me in the same abysmal place in my belly that these Decemberists songs do, and suffer from the same maladies -- too safe lyrics and too safe musical arrangement. For bands that are well-known for their lyrical content and instrumental interest, this is a sobering blow. And damn it if those two Bauhaus travesties have yet to grow on me either. Oh well, all we can do is wait for the new albums with hope in our hearts.

Do I ask too much? Am I overly expectant? Too unforgiving? Too hasty? Do I live I the past?

Oy vey.


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