Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sound Bank: 16) Samson

Samson is an odd choice to end this series, because I'm not panting and gasping "this song CHANGED my LIFE" at you. I don't link it inextricably with a life-changing event or personal triumph. It is just a song I like about a biblical strongman and his hairdresser.

Regina Spektor's Begin To Hope is a bit like that. Her lyrics are obtuse, quirky, funny (the word I'm desperately trying to avoid here is crazy). They're populated by Orca Whales and tangerines. But somehow they resonate like a tuning fork on my brain.

Try this and see if it does the same to you. "This is how it works / It feels a little worse / Than when we drove our hearse / Right through that screaming crowd." I have literally no idea what careening through a panicked mob of humanity in a funeral car feels like, or even why a writer would ever expect me to. But I simply get what's going on. I've inferred everything there is to know about the protagonist and her relationship from those four lines of exposition. What's more, I suspect my interpretation is 100% different, but equally valid, to yours - and that is the secret of Regina Spektor's geniusnessnessence.

When Begin To Hope came out in 2006, it brought out my inner Elton John. I bought the album two dozen times, pressing it firmly into the hands of bewildered friends and family with the same wild-eyed promise: "You are going to LOVE THIS RECORD!!".

They all came back and thanked me. Maybe you will,too.

Regina Spektor - Samson

Sound Bank is a series of blog posts I'm running in August while I'm on holiday. If you want to know more about it, there's an explanation on this page. Normal pop blog service will be resumed around 25th August

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