02 November 2005

field mice - "end of the affair" (from the snowball lp, available for purchase here.)

in brief : a record of hate far more than of love.

here it's been fall for over a month and i've yet to post a field mice track.

when writing for the field mice, bobby wratten understood autumn better than just about any songwriter in thirty years (as trembling blue stars, though, he's made deep winter his home). the languorous guitar lines, a bit like eno's "taking tiger mountain," drop softly and slow, like the last leaves to fall from december trees. wratten himself follows the patterns of the leaves, only in reverse: in the spring and summer, he's either red or yellow, but it's not until autumn that he turns green. "once i needed you so," he coos, "now i can't stand being in the same room as you, i can't even stand the sight of you"--mostly, though, he's just blue.

flourishes of cello and oboe lend gravity and stoicism to his heartache, making the song more like the greene novel it's named after. of course, that's where the similarities end; wratten and bendrix are two v. different protagonists. sarah ultimately can't resist bendrix's charms, while wratten is powerless to prevent the break-up. "this is it, isn't it?" he sings, w/ a certainty that belies the question mark. like a good lawyer, he never asks a question he doesn't already know the answer to.

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