Thursday, May 22, 2008

My favorite songs I: Flame turns blue, by David Gray

I'll run this series occasionally to explain why my favorite music is precisely that.

David Gray is a master instrumentalist. He has a unique voice and masters the use of that in, around, and through his ambient sound. Sometimes plaintive, sometimes vitally in your face with genuine emotion, but less with telling you that than showing it.

This song, from his formerly difficult-to-find Lost Songs, is a favorite for two reasons:

The guitar hook moves up in scale with an accompanying piano gradually throughout the song and it builds towards the end, which lyrics only display words for but no inflection, in which the listener hears David reach the top of the hill and look at the vista below.

Secondly, the pacing is perfect. At a little under 5 minutes it could easily be double that amount of time without the listener noticing at all. The tempo increases throughout the song, and right in the middle you can' t help but feel like a leaf being carried downstream on the sunniest of spring days.

I went looking for someone I left behind
Yeah, but no-one, just a stranger did I find
I never noticed, hadn't seen it as it grew
The void between us where the flame turns blue [voice]

Different places, well they all look much the same [yeah but]
Dreams of faces in the streets devoured by names
I'm in collision with every stone I ever threw
And blind ambition where the flame turns blue

Words dismantled, hey and all the books unbound
Conversations, though we utter not a sound
I heard a rumor, I don't know if it's true
That you'd meet me when the flame turns blue [where]

So I venture underneath the leaden sky
See the freight train with its one fierce eye
And then I listen as it tears the night in two [into]
With a whistle and the flame turns blue

In the morning I will sing
In the morning I will sing

Through the lemon trees the diamonds of light
Break in splinters on the pages where I write
That if I lost you, I don't know what I'd do
Burn forever where the flame turns blue
Yeah if I lost you, I don't know what I'd do
Burn forever where the flame turns blue

In the morning I will sing
In the morning I will sing
In the morning I will sing
In the morning I will sing


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