Pickle the Pain

I've been listening to Yeasayer's album All Hour Cymbals for a while now. The first time I heard it, aside from the more precipitous tracks like "Sunrise" and "2080", the rest of the album felt a bit like fluff: the lyrics were hard to distinguish just from listening to it and mostly made little sense, the music was less than orthodox but not distinctly creative, and the singing style itself I wasn't very sure of. I honestly believed it was a band that barely set itself from others, and that while it had its moments, Yeasayer was something I could probably do without and not miss it.

And then I heard "Ambling Alp". Actually, it wasn't hearing so much as seeing -- the music video for "Ambling Alp" completely blew me away. It reminded me that while I may not have understood All Hour Cymbals right off the bat, I had loved "Sunrise" and "2080", and I remembered that for the most part, every album I love now I hated the first time I listened to it.

Sure enough, I listened to it again, and even without going out of my way to find the lyrics, I found that I liked it, and it has only grown on me more since then. (This is probably going to be a very common story -- I hate pretty much everything I listen to until I convince myself to go back and I realize I love it)

As for lyrics, this album has some pretty intriguing ones. Probably the dearest one to me (at the moment) is "2080", which by the way is a great song to bring in the New Year. It immediately feels celebratory, but the lyrics are tinged with anxiety, worries about "the future I was born into" and warns not to look ahead, since "by 2080 I'll surely be dead". My favorite lyric in the song of course would be "And the pain that we left at the station will stay in a jar behind us/We can pickle the pain into blue ribbon winners at county contests". Most songs deal with interesting subjects, some invoking Greek imagery (such as "Sunrise") and others dealing with sickness ("Germs"). "Wait for the Summer" is a cleverly written song about murder: "It's an accidental fall/And they won't suspect a thing at all". The music itself doesn't let down the lyrics, either, both perfectly complementing each other while staying true to subject matter.

Yeasayer is simply one of my favorite bands. As a friend of mine said, Odd Blood is 2010's Merriweather Post Pavilion.


thedreamweaverandme said...

I said thattt haha! I win. We should be pretentious blog friends who promote each others blogs!

amda said...

hahah i added your blog to my favorite links! i hope you don't mind :)