Thursday, April 12, 2012

D: Dusk


The The

I can’t remember why I bought this CD. It might have been my occasional craving for melodrama, which was being fulfilled at the time by a stolen MP3 of ‘Love Is Stronger than Death’ that someone had ripped for me from the ‘Romeo + Juliet’ soundtrack. I don’t know how long I’ve had this disc. Maybe ten years? I remember ordering it from a record club because it only cost a penny, and “maybe I’ll like more than one of the tracks, but who cares? I’m paying a penny for it.”

I also remember the first time I put it in the CD player and listened to it all the way through. I was hooked from the opening salvo of ‘True Happiness This Way Lies.’ ‘Love Is Stronger…' followed it, and then I was surprised and delighted to hear ‘Dogs of Lust’, which I didn’t realize was by the same artist. Three good songs on an album was about my average back then for putting it in rotation, but ‘Dusk’ kept going beyond that.

It hasn’t gone unplayed for more than a couple of weeks in more than ten years.

Best Lyric

’Coz I ain’t never found peace upon the breast of a girl.
I ain’t never found peace with the religion of the world.
I ain’t never found peace at the bottom of a glass.

Sometimes it seems, the more I’ve asked for, the less I’ve received.
Sometimes it seems, the more I’ve asked for, the less I’ve received.

The only true freedom is freedom from the heart’s desires.
And the only true happiness this way lies.

Why it Won
I love Matt Johnson’s voice. I love his writing. I love Johnny Marr’s guitar and harmonica work here. It’s subtle, with less of the bright, almost irreverent jangling he had with The Smiths.

My favorite song, although I love all of them, is the organ-driven, hypnotic, almost sinister ‘Lung Shadows’. “I close my eyes, and you are with me. I can feel your breath upon my body. Come closer to me. Come closer to me…”

‘Dusk’ is an album you play as night falls, as you are getting ready to head out into the noise and lights of the city, or as you sit alone in your room and watch the darkness spread across your walls. The feeling it gives me reminds me a bit of the paragraph near the end of this story. “…and by then that sad between feeling would have passed. It always passed, but then, it always came, too, and it still does, that quiet, each of us in his room, fixing himself, straightening away, before going into the evening, thinking about things that happened and things that would happen.” (By the way, this is as good a time as any to throw an unabashedly enthusiastic suggestion for everyone to go over to Tomato Nation and read every one of the Famous Ghost Monologues. Some of my favorite short stories.)

This is another completely perfect record.

Runner(s) Up
Dragline - Paw - A southern rock opus. “I snuck in your bedroom to steal some change for booze. But all I found were love notes from another boy...”

Dry – PJ Harvey - Polly Harvey will make an appearance later in the month with an award-winning disc, but ‘Dry’ shouldn’t go without mention. This is an angry, bad-ass chick album. My college roommate, Pigboy, stuck his head into my room when I was playing it one night. “Huh. I don’t get it.”

“She’s not singing to you, dick.” Polly Harvey and I have both grown up, but back then I was an angry young woman with a chip on her shoulder, and this was my favorite album.

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