26 January 2006

television personalities - "tell me about it" (from the my dark places lp, available for preorder here.)

my dark places, the first tvp record since 1998's don't cry baby it's only a movie, is a ... well, it's real interesting. at times, the banter over musical tracks suggests dexy's don't stand me down taken to extremes, at other times, i wonder if a band was involved, the music often sounding like karaoke backing tapes. dan treacy is exposed throughout, touching on all sorts of personal matters, reaching a peak w/ "ex-girlfriend club," but rarely is he vulnerable, as on "tell me about it."

it's a sad piano lament--or at least it plays to me as sad. the lyrics, like the album, are all over the place, from imploring ("tell me anything ... tell me i can stay") to humorous ("was your boss shitty as usual?") to warm ("just come into my arms, you know your safe with me") to touching ("tell me anything ... even your shopping list"). what's more amazing still is that these quoted lyrics form a continuous thread, following one right after the other.

the limited range of the melody doesn't require treacy to do much, and yet he still manages to get quite a lot across simply by changing the tone and volume of his voice and by singing off-key occasionally. it's the kind of directness that one might recall from earlier triumphs like "look back in anger" and it's a shame that there aren't more songs like this on the album. but that treacy got himself together enough to record sixteen songs (!)--well, that's a triumph in itself.

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