Saturday, December 15, 2012

Casting Shivering Shadows


Original Facebook post here.
Today's whole-album listen-through: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. I've been both laughing and crying with recognition at what was once easily my favorite S&G record. Though I long ago outgrew some of its earnest conceits and embarrassing lyrics (and that so-awful-it's-really-awful Dylan parody), I'm overjoyed to rediscover the sheer tactile pleasure of its whispering, chiming, finely etched acoustic sounds, and to feel again how deeply, irreversibly I absorbed it into my bones as an impressionable high school wannabe hippie (it explains why I responded so wholeheartedly to Fleet Foxes, I guess, not to mention Langley Schools Music Project). I can also hear in S&G's most consistently well-produced record the subtle, tasteful-to-a-fault soundscaper Simon would become in later records (One-Trick Pony, Rhythm of the Saints). Though my favorite track is "For Emily," the song above is the one that made me well up this time.

Comments:
Tony Pennino The "Silent Night" overlapping with the newscast has a lot of resonance today.
David Barbour If you ask me, Bookends is far superior.
Rob Weinert-Kendt The songcraft is undoubtedly richer, more mature on BOOKENDS--Paul clearly learned some jazz chords in the interim. He'd also heard SGT.PEPPER, though, and I feel like the efforts to make a concept album, and to play with the studio (the synth stuff, the found and documentary audio material) actually detract from BOOKENDS' impact as an album. And while the album's wintry-New-York mood is impressive, the flaky, feathers-in-hair vibe of PARSLEY is, for better or worse, just closer to my heart.
 

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