Saturday, February 10, 2007

A review that gets it

So, Melanie just sent me this link. The author of this story doesn't know whether he's allowed to be posting it, but he did; I don't know whether I'm supposed to, but since he did, I will. Apparently, this is a first draft of a review of Cassavettes in Indie-Intune magazine. While we're called THE Cassavettes a bit (hey, it happens), the review really nails the lyrical meaning as he examines "Debts" and "On Our Own." I'm particularly happy to see a thorough -- and correct -- examination of "On Our Own" as I feel the song is sometimes misunderstood, misinterpreted, and a bit underappreciated (hence, it has fallen out of regular rotation with us). As you may recall, I received the compliment of my playing career about that song last month from Matt's mom, who said that it affects her so greatly that she's cried at the lyrics. I felt like the song would resonate with some folks this way, who knew people in the predicament I'm outlining. This writer ties it to Alice Cooper's "eighteen" chant (no complaints here) and has some nice things to say.

Sweet harmonies round the sound off and allow it to stand in today’s alt-country scene while having crossover appeal to the pop market.
Among everything else On Our Own is a protest song, which incorporates themes from the 1960’s war time music and making it work for the state of the country today, “You're face down, fighting men without a face, without reason/Back home, the governor preaches no one has died in vain/You're 18 and on your own/18, and losing hope, yeah, you're on your own”. Here the Cassavettes make the connection between the Vietnam generation’s struggles and those being faced today in the wake of the war in Iraq. The narrator is caught between the war, his need to make a difference and the desire to return to a home that is no longer as he left it. Being lied to by the government, finding himself in the middle of a conflict he does not understand, scared as a child, yet still living as a man, supporting his family with drill pay. Again, Cooper wrote, “I’m eighteen I get confused everyday”.


I'd say most of that is relatively accurate to the greater theme of the song. It's also about poverty and being preyed on by the powers that be. I think it's explained a bit in that post last month that got deleted. Anyhow, about "Debts," I was also thrilled to see that he thought we were very cohesive in the lyrics, considering Mike wrote the verse and then I just tried to match his sentiment in the chorus. It means we're connecting!

The chorus ties the theme of Debts together beautifully. In the first chorus McCullagh and Yoder write, “My life needs arranging/ And I’m starting to feel old/ I’m not young anymore” The narrators life experience leads him away from innocence, while he is starting to feel old, he hasn’t yet left the life of a child yet. This point is re-enforced by the closing lines of the second and third chorus’ “My life needs arranging/ And I know I’m getting old/ And not moving on”. The debts incurred from a rebellious childhood still haunt the main character, removing the choice, and imprisoning him in a life he no longer wants to lead.


Anyhow, a nice review. I look forward to seeing it in print!

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Jenna said...

Oooh, very nice review. Good job, guys.

11 February, 2007 17:51  
Anonymous glenn said...

thanks, jenner!

12 February, 2007 08:31  

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