Monday, May 02, 2005

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians - Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars

in this era of high technology and aero-dynamic gadgetry where not having the latest stuff is tantamount to being uncool, rarely do you get to hear music that is so simple, honest and revealing. i had to go back to 1988 to come up with such an album: “shooting rubberbands at the stars”. to speak truthfully, this cd is so unpretentious it makes this review of mine overly pretentious. nevertheless, i will try to do justice for this collection of songs that are not even fit for such unworthy ears as mine.

this is edie brickell & new bohemians’ first cd and as in most first offerings, the songs are fresh and alive. a testament to the fact that the artist’s first few creations flow naturally from the heart. there is no pressure to maintain or beat the sales or popularity of a previous release. the creativity level is at its peak for the capacity to bring forth music has not been sucked dry.

the cd opens with the song “what i am” which tells about the importance of knowing what you want and being true to your wants for this will give you all the confidence and security you need in life. edie sings: “i’m not aware of too many things / i know what i know if you know what i mean” and “what i am is what i am / are you what you are or what?”

“little miss s” talks about a high-society slutty girl who is taken advantage of by promiscuous men who think that she enjoys being treated a high-society slut: “the village idiots in her bed / never cared that her eyes were red / never cared that her brain was dead / in the hours that her face was alive / it was the thing just to be by her side”.

“air of december” has nothing to do with the bastardized and abused holiday called christmas. it has a more subtle meaning of pining or yearning (whichever word is more palatable to you) for a special someone: “i remember you put a chill across my face / like the air of december / i swear i remember it that way / where are you now?” imagine being likened to “a chill across someone’s face, like the air of december”. such poetry from edie (who wrote the song), i wouldn’t be surprised if she reads shakespeare.

“love like we do” talks about the benefits of true love: moving on (“life is better than the days behind”), sharing (“what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine”), positive thinking (“no aggravation that we can’t get through”), loyal contentment (“i’m happy even when the times are rough”), and letting go of anger (“i don’t believe in hatred anymore”).

ever since i first got to hear the album more than a decade and a half ago, my favorite song had always been “circle”, with its anti-social leanings. even if my social skills have improved for the better through the years, the lyrics still make me reminisce of the hardcore loner that i once was: “i quit, i give up / nothing’s good enough for anybody else it seems / and being alone is the best way to be / when i’m by myself it’s the best way to be / when i’m by myself nobody else can say goodbye”.

“beat the time” will always remind me of beng as this is the song he plays when he wants to wake himself up from a deep slumber and pump himself up for another school day.

“nothing” talks about nothing: “there’s nothing i hate more than nothing / nothing keeps me up at night / i toss and turn over nothing / nothing could cause a great big fight”.

“keep coming back” talks about the common theme of infatuation and obsession being mistaken for love. edie endlessly croons, “desperately tryin’ to keep you out of my mind / but ya keep coming back”, and climaxes it with “love’s never easy to lose my friend”.

the cd has a total of 11 songs plus an additional ghost track. i would tell you to buy this cd but it was never available in this format here in the philippines. i had to get mine from cd warehouse which sells imported but expensive cds.

rating: 5 of 5 stars * * * * *
buy this at amazon or at barnes&noble. you won’t regret it!

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