The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


From my last post, it is clear that I love to listen to Coldplay. Their music rings true to me. It has just enough substance for the lyrics and harmony to coalesce into a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying whole. But there is another band whose music cuts through me on a deep level. Everything from the beat to the lyrics to the notes resonates off of my bones like some emotional tuning fork.. I think it's the bittersweet nature of most of their songs.

I'm talking about The Verve.

Last week their new album, Forth, was released here in the States. It's a winner. Love is Noise, Rather Be, Valium Skies, and Appalachian Springs are all terrific tracks. The sound I grew to love, the sound I first heard in Urban Hymns was still there. It's existential, but with a spiritual twist. An odd pairing that works. Perhaps that is the essence of bittersweet. And perhaps I should leave the analysis to the adults.

Whlie waiting for Forth a good friend suggested I pick up a compilation of their singles leading up to and including tracks on Urban Hymns. The compilation album is called This is Music: The Singles 92 - 98. There are some decent tracks, but one stuck out. It's called History. I don't know whether is it the use of violin or the resounding guitar notes or the rhythmic beat or the tinge of pain in Richard Ashcroft's voice, but this song finds the weakness within me like a pair of harmonic divining rods.

I'm on the highway between exits. The top is down. I'm cruising pretty much on autopilot. History is playing, the beat passing over me in waves, drawing me into its resonating rhythms. I hear the lines:

I've got to tell you my tale
of how I loved and how I failed

My eyes well up. What the hell? Hey, I may not be some manly man who cries only at his mother's funeral (or if his team loses the Super Bowl), but I'm no Peter Pantaloons* either. Maybe it has to do with current and past events that continue to weigh on me. Maybe it's just the ideas the words conjure within, but the combination of the lyrics and the harmony paint a picture of a guy who's weathered more than his share of storms. It's the eternal truth. The bittersweet. It echoes through me like no other song has.

I've loved. I've failed. One day I'll love again. I hope the failing is optional.

* I sincerely have no idea where that came from, but I think you get my drift.



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