Your 10 flavors here
― gabbneb, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 17:44 (ten years ago) link
OverlapThe Million You Never MadeUntouchable FaceIn Or OutPulseEverestReckoningThis BouquetLight of Some Kind
Just off the top of my head. Could easily make several lists with entirely different songs. The top tier is very crowded, at least in that crucial 92-98 stretch.
― Tim F, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:01 (ten years ago) link
if that's in order, #1 is otm
― gabbneb, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:01 (ten years ago) link
That's not really in order "Overlap" is probably my favourite yeah, or at least it feels like the best song she's written. The build in the lyrics is awesome:
I search your profilefor a translationI study the conversationlike a map'cause I know there is strengthin the differences between usand I know there is comfortwhere we overlap
come herestand in front of the lightstand stillso I can see your sillouetteI hopeyou have got all night'cause I'm not done looking,no, I'm not done looking yet
each one of uswants a piece of the actionyou can hear it in what we sayyou can see it in what we dowe negotiate with chaosfor some sense of satisfactionif you won't give it to meat least give me a better view
come herestand in front of the lightstand stillso I can see your sillouetteI hopeyou have got all night'cause I'm not done lookingno,I'm not done looking yet
I build each one of my songsout of glassso you can see me inside of themI supposeor you could just leave the image of mein the backround, I guessand watch your own reflection superimposed
I build each one of my days out of hopeand I give that hope your nameand I don't know you that wellbut it don't take much to telleither you don't have the ballsor you don't feel the same
come herestand in front of the lightstand stillso I can see your sillouetteI hopeyou have got all night'cause I'm not done lookingno, I'm not done looking yet
I seach your profile for a translationI study the conversation like a map'cause I know there is strengthin the differences between usand I know there is comfortwhere we overlap
... The third/fourth verses in particular are pure fire.
― Tim F, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:08 (ten years ago) link
Anticipate Both HandsThe Diner (jam song, lol)Fire DoorIn or OutOverlapPulseSorry I Am32 Flavors vs WorthyYour Next Bold Move
almost everything on Living in Clip, lol
(i don't really know anything after 2001 - Everest sounds nice)
― gabbneb, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 21:32 (ten years ago) link
well isnt this just perfect
― roxymuzak, Sunday, 8 March 2009 11:40 (ten years ago) link
the way she uses horns is so cool and interesting to me - I think Joni's the clear influence but she's got her own thing. wish I'd paid closer attention to her when she was a bigger deal, she's really good imo even though some of the vocal tendencies take a lot of getting used to
― available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 7 February 2013 22:01 (six years ago) link
aero have you heard Revelling / Reckoning?
Underrated double album from the early 00s where she pushed her horn work hardest on one disc while making some of her most beautifully-observed balladry on the second.
The lyrics to "Reckoning" are so excellent, like just really wise-seeming to me in a way that lots of other lyrics strive for but have no hope of achieving.
I just searched for them and they've come up without line breaks, which seems appropriate somehow:
you can doubt anything if you think about it long enough, cause what happened always adjusts to fit what happened after that. and it's hard to feel like you are free when all you seem to do is referee, but i remember when it was just you and me, steppin' up to bat. and win or lose, just that we choose this little war is what kills us. and either/or it's that this war is maybe alsowhat thrills us. we thought we left possession behind. the truth is: i was yours, and you were mine. and i've replayed a thousand times exactly what was said. cause nothing is as it appears in the fun house mirrors of your fears, on the roller coaster of all these years with your hands above your head. and win or lose, just that we choose this little war is what kills us. and either/or it's that this war is maybe also what thrills us. and you know i don't care how fast you run, just tell me baby that when you're done with your little marathon, you've still got cab fare home. cause the finish line is a shifty thing, and what is life but reckoning? and baby you are still the song i sing to myself when i'm alone. and win or lose just that we choose this little war is what kills us. and either or it's that this war is, maybe also what thrills us.
― Tim F, Thursday, 7 February 2013 22:43 (six years ago) link
aero have you heard Revelling / Reckoning?
this was what I was listening to when I woke up this thread! so much really nice going in a really casual way on this record - as with I think much of her stuff it's easy to miss. partly I blame her taste in guitar sounds, though - she always plays down the bass frequencies, or lets her engineer do it, and the full body of the instrument gets cheated.
― available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 8 February 2013 01:15 (six years ago) link
i also feel like often the songwriting here is a lot more ambitious than it appears - "casual" is a good word for the vibe. From memory "Marrow" and "Rock, Paper, Scissors" both have really widescreen, inventive arrangements, lots of sudden shifts and mutations pulled off very naturally.
― Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 01:21 (six years ago) link
Yeah, I think that ambition is coupled with spontaneity of expression to such profound effect on this record - maybe "spontaneity" is the wrong word, these are very finely-wrought songs, but their presentation - though played meticulously: Jon Hassel's on this record! Maceo Parker too! - has that air of ease about it, that breezy jazz feel that tries (and imo succeeds) in masking the degree of craft necessary to pull it off. Even on say a solo number like "whatall is nice" there's this marriage of attention to detail and present-moment presentation.
Really special record I think. And those horns - they play those tossed-off phrases like it was nothing, but it's so not nothing it's hilarious: they're playing together gorgeously, like they woke up and started playing together every morning of their lives.
― available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 8 February 2013 03:34 (six years ago) link
Interesting to invoke Joni here - some of these tunes are like the songs that Joni might have made if Don Juan's Reckless Daughter had continued in a straight line from Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira - esp. it captures the spontaneity Joni was going for on Don Juan without losing the attention to detail that had marked her prior albums.
(obv their songwriting and performance styles are quite different in other ways)
― Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 03:42 (six years ago) link
I need to buy R/R and another copy of Little Plastic Castles.
― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 03:45 (six years ago) link
One of the most depressing things for me was how little I liked Evolve after how much I loved Revelling/Reckoning.
I skipped Educated Guess after everyone said it was a fall-off from Evolve (!) but I really like Knuckle Down which is like a more sombre, knotty version of the serious parts of Little Plastic Castles.
Have never gotten around to any of the albums after that.
― Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 03:52 (six years ago) link
they are, but the comparison's apt here - I think Ani sounds like she's working with the musicians a little more than JM, who I think of as pretty intensely controlling. Some of that's mythos I'm sure but one gets the sense from Don Juan & Hejira that she's enlisting these amazing players in pursuit of a very specific vision, whereas on R/R there's this sound of play that's just infectious and warm and intimate.
― available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 8 February 2013 03:53 (six years ago) link
Tim you don't rate Reprieve? Its opener is such a beauty to me - it's both profoundly affecting and sports one of those wince-inducing lines that presents something-to-be-gotten-over for me; I think a lot of my favorite writers have these tendencies I have to come to terms with, that resistance draws me in closer eventually. (The line here is "the map led to an island in a sea of store-bought dreams/where soulless singers sang over beats made by machines." Oh no Ani! Not beats made by machines! Say not so!)
― available for sporting events (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 8 February 2013 03:57 (six years ago) link
I haven't heard Reprieve! I should check out all of the more recent-ish albums.
That line is no worse than "People used to make 'records', as in the record of an event/the event of people making music in a room / now everything cross-marketing / it's about sunglasses and shoes / or guns and drugs, you choose" (from "Fuel" on Little Plastic Castles).
― Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 04:05 (six years ago) link
I'm resigned to the fact that ani was inevitably going to be a rhyming alex in nyc on these issues.
― Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 04:07 (six years ago) link
Another way to look at this is that Ani's number one for all time lyrical skill - the area in which she is basically unparalleled IMO - is in the metaphorical presentation of how she relates to the world around her.
I think despite her rep this is most clear in her relationship songs, a prime example being the lyrics to "Overlap" which I posted at the beginning of the thread - it's hard for me to think of lyrics I like more than "I build each one of my songs out of glass / so you can see me inside of them, I suppose / or you could just leave the image of me in the backround, I guess / and watch your own reflection superimposed."
But similarly her more political stuff also works this way, i.e. only to the extent that she sings it from the vantage of her actual inextricable entanglement in the world. Which is why a song like "The Million You Never Made" is so powerful while her overflowery put-downs of the major label pop music industry seem so cringey: the moment she ascends to a birds eye view she moves from simultaneously wise and implicated to condescending and un-self-aware.
― Tim F, Friday, 8 February 2013 04:18 (six years ago) link
A highly compressed list of favorites.
― morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 7 October 2017 02:01 (one year ago) link
Another use of metaphor I love, from "The Million You Never Made":
"And I'm warning you I'm weightless / and the wind is always shifting / so don't try to hang anything on me / if you ever want to see it again"
This is a classic Ani inversion: literalise/visualise the central metaphorical phase ("don't hang that on me" is literalised as a washing line scenario) and then build on that visualisation to reflect back on the original metaphor - with wind blowing clothes off the line standing in for "you don't have a vantage point from which to judge or label me". It's kinda vibe-killing to break down the line to that extent, but I do think it's an excellent and very archetypal use of language.
― Tim F, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 23:44 (one year ago) link