30 November 2006

Sparklehorse: "Chaos of the Galaxy/Happy Man"

This is one of the gems of Sparklehorse's more conceptual writing (without, honestly, trying as hard as Sonic Youth might).

It's 4:31 total. Beginning with a 45-second organ drone (descending/ascending span of a third in steps), then 45 seconds of an elliptical, pining pop verse as the guitar strumming fades and pops with between-the-dial radio distortion. A short chorus--all I want is to be a happy man--and abbreviated verse with more distortion. At around 2 minutes, the song completely de-tunes to static with the organ drone periodically returning.

The pop song eventually fades in and, once it dominates the sound, takes the remaining 2 minutes.

The pairing of the "happy man" chorus with the loss of communication is what's important. It expresses a formative desire repressed either by outside forces--a non-reactive medium--or by his own inability at the controls of that medium--the radio dial. Either way, as that impotence is resolved in the second half of the song, the desire remains.

[ posted by sstrader on 30 November 2006 at 9:06:03 PM in Music ]