SUGGESTIONS XXI. (All about OWEN.)

The following selections are all by Owen (musician Mike Kinsella).  I cannot wait for the new album, and in anticipation, I am honoring him by dedicating a SUGGESTIONS post to his band Owen.

The Sad Waltzes of Pietro Crespi.”  This was my first introduction to Owen.  Musically it is subtle and beautiful in composition, lyrically the words are sweet and sentimental; this song reigns supreme as one of my all time favorite tracks.  The lyrics themselves diverge from typical love songs where artists are overly poetic.  If anything, Mike goes the opposite and sings from his heart without thought to flourishes.  A straight shot from the hip, so to speak.  The first time I heard it his baldness of sentiment shocked me.  I thought and felt those same things, wanted to say them, but was too frightened by the depth of their truth.  Other musicians were not that upfront in their lyrics, which goes to prove why I think some of his genius lies in his words.  Favorite moment from this song: “Could you love someone enough, after all you’ve had and then lost, it’s a simple question; I’m only asking because I don’t want to die alone.  Could you love someone completely, and yes by someone I mean me, spoiled sick like milk you let sit too long, it’s a simple question.”  (Track found on At Home With Owen.)

Who Found Who’s Hair in Who’s Bed?”  I became obsessed with this song this past year.  I had listened to it previously, but when circumstances in my life began to change, my focus on this song became decidedly clearer.  As obvious from the title, the track discusses betrayal.  Yet the composition is distinctly upbeat.  It reminds me of The Format‘s album Dog Problems.  It is one of the most depressing conglomeration of songs lyrically, however every track makes you want to sing and dance.  This song from Owen has that feel (okay, maybe not by it’s dance-likeness, but it definitely propels through the words with a poppy vibe).   I cannot boast enough for his ability to sing and play in a way that leads the listeners to feel as if he is singing solely to them.Once again Mike shows his skill for blunt lyricism with an opening line of, “I’m usually not one to speak up, but your decisions of late are by all accounts pretty fucked up, but not in a good way.”  (Track found on I Do Perceive.)

Good Friends, Bad Habits.”  Probably one of my favorite tracks of all time (like “The Sad Waltzes of Pietro Crespi” in how I am emotionally bound to this song).  The composition has a dreamlike quality to it; the auditory equal to your head swimming after a night out with friends.  And yet, there is something melodic, calming, and distinctly rock n’ roll in its sound.  What I love about this song the most, though, as is typical with me, are the lyrics.  The storyboard behind the song.  Mike tells his listeners about his friends, his good friends with bad habits, the literary romantics (“they fuck like Wilde and indulge like Hemingway”).  He reflects on his own life, how he no longer is part of that crowd, and in his honesty of being jealous, he turns around and allows us to see what changed it for him: his daughter.  Best and most poignant lyrics:  “Sometimes, like every time a train passes, I get jealous of the long nights, blurred lights, the red eyes, bar fights, the where the hell am I and how did I get here with one shoe and which way to the nearest train?  Sometimes, like every time she breathes, I embrace my routine.”  I definitely shed a tear the first time I heard this song.  It’s beautiful.  (Track found on New Leaves.)

A Trenchant Critique.”  What moves me on this track is the composition.  The lyrics are brilliant, as well, but the music catches my attention and holds me far before Mike begins singing.  A gorgeous blend of drums, strings, with a smattering of guitar, and his voice seamlessly melding into the framework.  When I was younger, there were certain songs that I felt down in my gut, coursing through my body as if somehow I was infected with the poetry and the sounds were in my blood stream moving to my fingertips and toes.  This track has that effect.  I literally put it on, close my eyes, and melt into the notes.  When Mike begins to sing, it weaves such a wonderful image among the variant beats.  When the strings come in, the dimension shifts again and, especially if you listen on headphones, the song fills your head.  My favorite lyrics are from the opening: “You said that you finally heard the voices in my head, or at least I think you did.  I’m so easily confused, an inebriated fool, who doesn’t know his right from left, or often right from wrong.”   (Track found on New Leaves.)

A Bird in Hand.”  I have so many other favorites, well, Owen’s whole discography is considered favorites, but this is a track that has been repeated countless times since first listen (probably more than the others combined).  As stated earlier, Mike has this beautiful bluntness to the point of reckless, but it adds sincerity to his art.  This song was in the running for the wedding song.  The composition is dynamic and airy.  I can literally visualize the music and the shapes and colors that come across are warm and glowing.  The lyrics impress me because Mike is saying “I love you” without saying “I love you” (pardon my obvious statement, for those who have heard this song, but my point is he is saying all the moments he shows his love and means it, and that reflects those three words.  That is how I understood/understand what love is, and how you express it).  I even like the bridge when a distorted electric guitar shreds for a minute.  It mimics chaos and the rock n’ roll obviously felt within the relationship.  Favorite lyrics: “You know what you are to me, don’t make me say it, over and over again.  It’s way too late or much too early, you know how I get when I’m left alone to my vices, like the grown ups did when I was a kid, except I’m a bird in your hand, so take me as I am.”   (Track found on At Home With Owen.)

Advertisements

One thought on “SUGGESTIONS XXI. (All about OWEN.)

  1. Pingback: Romantic Love Lyrics | Love Quotes 2

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s