“Allison” – Elvis Costello
From My Aim is True
I’ve never really got Elvis Costello. Most of his songs don’t really translate well into my brain waves. I don’t really have anything against him, I don’t dislike his songs, but I don’t find a whole lot in them to really like either. Which is weird to me, because I rather dig his nerdy schtick and I know folks who totally dig him, and those folks are folks I can generally groove with. I do, however, dig his wife, Diana Krall.
This is one of the few songs I really, truly dig. It’s got that romantic groove going and the close out line “my aim is true” that cuts deep.
“What I Say” – Lyle Lovett
Now Lyle Lovett is an artist I can fully and wholly dig. He’s a darn fine musician, a wonderful songwriter, and seemingly an all around good guy – or at least a wry, funny one.
This is from an album full of songs he has performed for various movies. Lyle is quite a movie man, having performed songs for all kinds of film, and even performed in a number of Robert Altman flicks. None of the songs here are original, it is a bunch of covers, generally really slow covers – which means its an album I’m not all that fond of – with a few exceptions, notably this Ray Charles cover.
No doubt this is a great song, and Lyle gives it his best go, but it is a song I’ve long since grown tired of; which is no fault of its own. It’s just one of those songs I’ve heard so many times I can’t listen to it anymore.
The Lyle version is a fine rendition, but nobody beats Ray Charles, especially on the orgasmic moans toward the end. Lyle just can’t get into the sex of it.
“You Got the Silver” – The Rolling Stones
From Let it Bleed
My favorite incarnation of the Stones is the country honk version. I’m an old school country man anyway, and the way the Stones can cut country music with a raunchy rock n roll edge slays me.
This is a slow paced, fast song. It’s a simple love songs sang plain by Keith Richards. The organ solo in the middle of this two minute ditty nails everything a good song should. When it’s followed up a jaunty, rollickin’ piano based rave it’s pure joy.
“Brick” – Ben Folds Five
From Whatever and Amen
A song about abortion that never mentions it. It weighs like of ton blocks named in the title. If you let it, it will make you see the misery and loneliness of life.
In but a few verses Ben Folds tells a story so completely, and with such heartbreak it’s hard to believe it is just a pop song. It is a song I both love and hate. I love it for its perfect ness, for it’s ability to transcend pop and convey real, raw emotions. I hate it for the same reasons, it’s just not something easily listened to, for it is too real. How this became something of a hit is beyond me.
“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” – Bob Dylan
It’s hard to choose a favorite Dylan. There is the political spokesman, the prophet and preacher, there is the storyteller and poet, and then there is the lover, whose words penetrate the heart and soul – ok, yeah, I gotta go for the lover. His words are so heart achingly beautiful, it’s hard not to fall in love all over again.
This is a perfect love song. The melody is simple and sweet the lyrics are the whisper of a lover who promises nothing more than a wonderful tonight, but he doesn’t have to promise more. Tonight’s enough.