Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Revenge Songs

This post is mainly going to be about Revenge Songs, an album by Jacob Golden, but since I don't want to be accused of writing misleading blog titles, here are ten songs that are (kind of) about revenge:
  1. I Spy - Pulp
  2. The Mariner's Revenge Song - The Decemberists
  3. Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Iron Maiden
  4. Revenge - Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (featuring The Flaming Lips)
  5. Living Well is the Best Revenge - R.E.M.
  6. Can You Forgive Her? - Pet Shop Boys
  7. ....uh...
  8. Iron Man - Black Sabbath
  9. You Said No - Busted
Okay, I can't think of any others. Let's forget about that and get on with the blog, shall we?

Like many great albums, Revenge Songs is a break-up record. Most of the songs are about a recently-ended relationship, and Golden spends a lot of the album trying to think up a way to make it all better.

All of which has been done a million times, of course. What really sets Revenge Songs apart - in my mind, at least - is its author's preoccupation with music. The eleven tracks that make up this LP display a rock solid belief in the power of song; whoever Jacob Golden is, he seems utterly convinced that music is the solution to his broken relationship. Even if his compositions won't actually bring her back, they'll at least make him feel better.

The result of all this is an extremely intimate-sounding album (with all background ambience left in; here's an article about Jacob Golden's recording methods, in case you're into that technical stuff) with a rather tragic character at its centre. Music is everything to this protagonist, and he's desperately trying to repair his love life with the only tools he has available: his songs.

Below, you'll find the music video for On a Saturday (as featured on The O.C., no less!), followed by some choice lyrical snippets. This album cost me about £1.50 from my local Barnardo's, but you can probably find it for less if you have a look around. I'd definitely recommend it.

"I tried to write the perfect song/To let you know that I was wrong/And fix the bloody hole in the roof/Where the hammer fell"
from Shoulders

"The church of new song came/And my headphones lifted me up again/Buzzing on the radiation/Of my secret radio station"
- from Church of New Song

"I'm a microphone/I'm a tambourine/I'm a record sleeve/I'm a Mellotron/I'm your man"
- from I'm Your Man

"My favourite Daniel Johnston song/Was recorded on a tape deck before you were born/There's a lyric in the chorus where he talks about joy/And it held my hand through an infinite void"
- from Shine a Light

"I took out my revenge/I wrote a postcard to unite my fractured friends"
- from Revenge Songs

"I'm man enough to get with you/I'll kill my poetry and write myself anew/A fresh identity, devoid of sentimentality/An artist of integrity, I'll give that lonely, broken boy to you"
- from Hold Your Hair Back

No comments:

Post a Comment