Saturday, March 31, 2007

Song of the Week: "Girls"

Eleni Mandell - "Girls"

No, not the Beastie Boys song but rather the seemingly winsome track from Eleni Mandell's wonderful new album, Miracle of Five. I say seemingly because the song's waltzy melody belies the creepiness of the lyrics. Over and over Mandell wonders about her would-be lover, running questions through her head:

I wonder how you look when you sleep
Do you still dream about girls from your street?
Do you still dream about girls from high school?
Do you still dream about girls, girls, girls?

Even if he were to fall in love with her it would surely not work with her hang-ups about the girls he has banged. She promises that she will be "the dice you roll down the alley" and "the pennies that come in handy," arguing that she will somehow be different from all the girls he has been with, but we all know, that most likely, she will simply be one line out of 88 he will write about his 44 women. And I fear how her brittle little heart will handle the heartbreak.

The thin line between romantic yearning and scary obsession has been covered before in song, most notably with the Police's "Every Breath You Take." Mandell's "Girls" is a welcome addition with its beguiling feminine perspective. Mandell's songs have a sweet yet tough quality to them, and "Girls" is a wonderful example of how her songs are punched up with keen wit, making for a pleasant immediate experience that lingers longer than one would expect for such lilting melodies.

The video above features Eleni Mandell's boyfriend, the musician Charlie Wadhams. He's also in the video for "Makeout King."

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