Paradisiac's Corner - Dear 2013, We Need To Discuss the Nature of Our Relationship
by Arvo Zylo
I think it's time we break up. It's been nice, but you're possessed by dark forces that cannot stop your good intentions from going terribly and obscenely awry. You've inadvertently, yet voluntary tried in nearly every regard to make things much more tedious than they needed to be, as if you were trying to claim me. As if you were trying to keep me to yourself. It's been a great learning experience, rife with copious amounts of important challenges, and other such positive reinforcement nonsense, but unfortunately for you, while time may be a "dirty dealer who always wins", it is also something that can never have a grip on me or anyone else before the next moment comes and steps in for the next dance, if not death's sweet embrace. And with that, so that you know that there're no hard feelings, I'm leaving you with my top 5 favorite break up albums that didn't happen at all in 2013, because maybe it will comfort you and your sick, ridiculous soul, and because 2013 was brimming with nauseating top 10 lists and half ass zingers pretending to be journalism. I know you're hurt, but some day you'll understand. In the meantime, please don't call me ever again. 2014 is my new thing, and I'm positive I won't let her do me wrong nearly as bad as you and your multiple deranged personalities tried to.
Rolling Stones - Metamorphosis
Ostensibly a kind of throw away album of b-sides or otherwise previously recorded songs and whatnot - even with it's light hearted nod to Kafka on the cover art - this one is the perfect break up album. It goes through all of the phases and the time sensitivity involved in each fleeting feeling, before and after. For some reason, the Rolling Stones, to me, patently achieve, if not establish the essential archetypal rock n roll mechanism of singing sincerely about things they probably would actually at least discuss with women; crude. revealing. or anything else, while others seem to sing in order to get girls and be passive aggressive with them.
Frank Sinatra - Cycles
I usually hate Frank Sinatra, almost as much as Bing Crosby, which isn't to say I hate crooners, and I don't necessarily hate their voices. This album (released just before Christmas in 1968) is tweaked in some way, where it somehow reaches above my personal barometer for bullshit. I have a friend who has the recipes of Frank Sinatra's former chef, he couldn't have been that sad, but it seems that way at times. This is a collection of covers, with orchestral strings tangled in harpsichord sunshine pop. "Rain In My Heart" is bombastic where it needs to be, a fine example of climactic lounge ententres, and "Moody River" is like an immediate sunrise or like the moment the lights turn on in Andy Warhol's "Empire". It sounds like a song Frank's sister would sing, it is the cheeriest damn thing in the world, while the song itself is about a cheating lover who kills herself out of guilt. And there's more.
Willie Nelson - Best of (1971)
"Hello Walls" is about a man consoling his surroundings (window pane, etc) at home that his lover won't be around anymore. The whole album is laden with cartoonish, symbolism, to the point of being downright reminiscent of Dr. Seuss or Mr. Rogers. Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson should have done a duet, since it sounds the same, but unfortunately, while I think Patsy Cline would be great for this, I'm not aware of any completely solid album in this regard, not that there aren't some that come close. Nelson does sing the song "Crazy", but the overarching charm of this record is its simplicity in songs like "This is the Part Where I Cry"., "Wake Me When It's Over", "Where My House Lives", and so forth. Willie takes the universal concepts that were done to death in his time and are smoldering with banality now, but they are simplified to the point of almost lulling a person into whatever whims they're carried by. This is something country music has glaringly and laughably failed at, but not here.
Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear
It's the only solid album by Marvin Gaye I know of, not that I don't like Marvin Gaye. I'll just say that this album was the result of Gaye's wife divorcing him and getting a settlement which included a significant portion of future royalties. It's not a series of songs written about some mythical, imaginary woman with a name that's interchangeable with whatever rhymes, it is a direct letter to someone, and it's as funky as it is dismal.
The Organ Masters - Music For Young Lovers
I know this won't raise the eyebrows of many, but I have a pretty good sized collection of organ records. This one takes the cake in gesture alone. It starts off with upbeat instrumentals of "Walking in the Rain", and "Love's Been Good To Me",but it ends with "Answer Me My Love", then finally "The Thrill Is Gone". You can almost taste the cynicism, if not the ruined mood and the moment the bad breath sinks in, of some imaginary teens with goofy haircuts no longer making out under a lava lamp, the "I must be going" as the record shimmies into the flopping/sagging run out groove of a lost erection. .
Lee Hazlewood - Requiem for an Almost Lady