Friday, December 28, 2007

Favorite Songs from 2007: #7

Lists have become super-sized. No one is content with just 10 any more. It has to be 20, 50, 100. Blame it on my generation's belief that they don't have to choose. They can have it all. I am guilty of it, too, so this year I have resolved to make choices. My lists will be kept to ten regardless of how painful it will be to leave off some deserving choices. Heck, I won't even mention the runners-up. Ten and I'm sticking to it. We start with songs.

"Golden Inhibition Destroyer" by Warm in the Wake

Album: Gold Dust Trail EP


Like Keren Ann's "Lay Your Head Down," Warm in the Wake's "Golden Inhibition Destroyer" was a Song of the Week selection this year. The song's Southern rock sound is pleasant enough, big guitars and shuffling drums underscore cryptic lyrics. This would be enough for a decent, enjoyable song, but what takes "Golden Inhibition Destroyer" to the next level, what makes it a a song worthy of playing over and over again, occurs with a minute and a half remaining in the song, after the last lyric has been sung. At this point a piano solo begins as the drums roll a martial beat. The piano builds ever so gradually but soon it is colliding with the drums, rising then cascading to the verge of collapse. But it doesn't. It is an exercise in controlled breakdown. We never fear that the song will fall apart because what we heard before proved to us that Warm in the Wake knows its formula. Yet they also know it well enough to deviate from it and reveal what else is possible--ithin reason and without spiraling out of control. It is, I suppose, a "safe" song, but it is only so because Warm in the Wake know too well what they are doing as musicians that they don't leave a wreck of a song in the wake after all is done.

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