July 26, 2007
Song Of The Week: Aqualung
I've had the Aqualung album Memory Man since perhaps January and I was a bit disappointed in it. Aqualung is basically a nice "bloke" named Matt Hales (above) with attendant collaborators. They've had a couple of minor hits including the truly classic Strange And Beautiful (watch it). Memory Man's lead single Pressure Suit (a bit of a joke there, given the band's name) was a nice pop/rock track with some intensity to it, but the album did not leap out at me, so I failed to notice that there is an amazing piece of music at track 10.
The 6-minute Garden Of Love would be a pretty ballad even if it ended at 3:35. Instead, something beautiful happens: the song comes to a dead stop and takes a turn into an extended coda that's sung so passionately by Paul Buchanan. Paul is the lead singer of The Blue Nile, one of my all-time favorite groups. The way he sings, it's like the sound of crying. Paul has said he writes at the speed of one song per year, so his presence illustrates that Hales would be quite capable of working with him... I'd rawther it not be 2014 when we get the next Blue Nile album.
Paul's piece is a good lyric:
There's only so much that a heart can grow
Then everything else starts to overflow
You're young and in love,
Back then there was no way of knowing
So we pushed and we pulled
With our nerves of steel
You had the pedals and I had the wheel
And the terrible truth is
We never knew where we going
Aqualung Garden Of Love featuring Paul Buchanan EXPIRED
Matt Hales says the song was musically inspired by a David Sylvian album and the lyrics were an homage to William Blake and Beckett. Okay. ? Hales is actually sort of like a less obtuse Thom Yorke (of Radiohead). I am sure he cringes at the comparisons, but it has to be said, primarily of the vocals. You can watch videos for two more Memory Man songs, Pressure Suit and Cinderella.