Monday, July 31, 2006

song of the week: willie

i'm still not sure if i really think cat power is any good. i only have the greatest, quite a wishy washy album which strays between fairly-good beth orton and nora jones snoresville. there's also a cruel voice in my head that suspects she wouldn't be so famous if she weren't a junkie. ouch, that's not very nice.

but then, as with good woman, cat power will sing something and before i've had time to think anymore about it - blink - it's under my skin.

willie, i presume a cropped version of 18-minute epic willie deadwilder, is one such song. all week i've been listening to this, obsessively replaying it back, and i'm still not really any the wiser as to why i like it. it's good - but on first listen it's sort of easy chick listening, not really my thing at all. but it's so much more too.

there's that solid piano opening, a little bit of bass, shuffly drums, shy guitar, that breathy refrain, and a chirpy, knowing saxophone sol0. sweet, slightly elusive little love lyrics, a sound that makes you feel like you're sitting on a porch, overlooking a prairie in your rocking chair, or taking a long journey in a rickety old train on a warm afternoon.

it's a quietly confident song, self-assured in its own deceptive simplicty and gorgeousness. it's like a shrug after thanking someone for a compliment.

and Charlyn Marshall's voice is like a big smokey hug or like someone stroking your hair until you fall asleep. in other songs she can sound angry, or pathetically vulnerable, or just plain bored, but in this song, her voice sounds like the most complete woman on earth watering her plants, or doing something equally throwaway but necessary.

and yet - i know if you go away and listen to this, you'll think, what IS she talking about? it's just m.o.r. pop-rock trying to be a bit folky. but first impressions are so often misleading.

this song makes me feel quite happily withdrawn into myself. it makes me smile and feel a bit dreamy and a little bit wistful. it has made me feel lonely, and sad too. in fact, i'd go so far as to say i have a big dopey crush on this song, which is sort of fitting, being as it is a, big dopey song about love.


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