08 June 2006

the zombies - "care of cell 44" (from the odessey & oracle lp, available for purchase here.)

no, i don't think the question of what crime the girl in the song committed is a fruitful path of inquiry. the conceit is merely a concession to the times, though admittedly it makes for a neat title.

really, the song could be about any reunion between two lovers. it's all about remembered details--the laughter that plays around her eyes, the room that was once hers--and small triumphs, like having saved up for the train fare money. colin sounds so pleased, like he's sitting on his hands, rocking back & forth w/ excitement. when the loved one returns, the time spent apart, once insuperable, seems instantaneously compressed.

the music, too, is a concession to the times, but what times they were. tack pianos are the warp, mellotron the weft, the finished product sunbaked english whimsy, like the turtles making sgt. pepper's or the beach boys rearranging "waterloo sunset." the chorus emerges from out of the blue--or out of the black, more likely, a short vocal harmony interlude rousing helios early, calling forth daybreak in the dead of night.

it's a song that makes you want to hug yourself--or someone else, if you're the lucky sort. perhaps i shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the criminal charges against the girl; what it does is foreground something lurking within all human relationships, that is, the strange chemistry that exists between two individuals, which must seem all the stranger when one of the two is a jailbird. i hope they're v. happy, at least as happy as "care of cell 44" always seems to make me.

i also hope she didn't try to rip off his testicles. b/c, really, then he's just asking for it.

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