28 August 2009

start of a new blog feature: the album advice column (#1, Friendly Fires)

next Monday, the kiddikins of our local school district start their fall semester. and the blissful less-than-25-minute morning commute of these past 3 months will be over. I can already feel the traffic getting heavier - I'm now waving my fists in the air at the drivers who took their moron pills before leaving the house b/c they're driving stupidly, and getting confronted by a sea of cars with their brake lights illuminated doesn't help my mood in the morning.

as a result of several trying mornings trying to get to work this week, I was listening and re-listening to Friendly Fires's debut album and thinking about the lyrics of each song. like, really trying to figure out what Ed Macfarlane is trying to convey.

while Ed Mac has said in multiple interviews that the lyrics come to him as an afterthought to the band setting the tone with the beats, I beg to differ. most writers, I think, are too humble to admit when they've written something truly profound. and I hate cocky writers! "hey, look at me! I'm so great, I'm so special!"

anyway, I'm not sure if my work commutes will continue to make me stir-crazy in my little metal box on the road, but in the meantime, I'm going to re-listen to some of the albums I really love and see if I can glean anything significant.

and as such, I bring you a new feature to this blog - the album advice column. meaning I will distill in a sentence (or couple of sentences) what I think the songs means in an album significant to me.

so first up - the 10 tracks of Friendly Fires' debut album, released September 2008.

1. "Jump in the Pool" - carpe diem - seize the day - and never put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today.

2. "In the Hospital" - sometimes, loving you hurts me. a lot. but I still love you though.

3. "Paris" - we gotta get out of this place. and I have the master plan!

4. "White Diamonds" - sometimes people are just meant for each other. and they'll do anything to keep it going.

5. "Strobe" - the old proverb of "if you love her, set her free. if she comes back to you, she's yours." (alternately: if you go off with someone else and then you come back to me, I'm willing to give it another shot.)

6. "On Board" - ok, this one's got me. I think it's got something to do with "getting with the program", joining up something, but that something is dangerous ("we had to cross the line / despite the fact our feet dipped in the fire"). and the video is no help either :)

7. "Lovesick" - when a relationship clearly isn't working anymore, don't let it wither and die, cut your losses and leave before it hurts either of you any more.

8. "Skeleton Boy" - I know you think it's over, but let's just get through tonight as friends and we can talk about it in the morning.

9. "Photobooth" - right now things are nice and cozy between us. but you want to leave me, what did I do wrong? (I keep listening to this and I'm really not sure about this one.)

10. "Ex Lover" - I haven't been the same since we broke up. will you give me another chance? please? I still really love you.

overall, pretty much a plaintive cry to lost love. which is generally what dance records hope to achieve, right?

comments / suggestions / friendly jabs are welcome!

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