Friday, January 4, 2008

Between Seventeen and Twenty

More marital misery on display from Bernie- in the words of Claud Bernardin, "...the only way Bernie could deal with his personal problems was hitting the bottle or write about it." Some of Blue Moves' tracks come across as somewhat self-pitying; this one takes a different approach in that it is a relentless self-examination, in which he reflects on the years gone by in their relationship and accepts his share of blame for their problems:

And if I shower around 3 a.m.
It's just to wash away
The trace of a love unwanted
Oh in the times I went astray
The times I went astray

Of all of his lyrics, this song features some of the most up-front and honest, and are especially memorable to me because of it.

And probably very difficult to set to music without succumbing to maudlinity. Elton chose to try and keep it light; taken at a midtempo rhythm, it features the tinkling mandolins of Davey Johnstone, along with Hammond organ fills and some committed falsetto vocals from Elton. The melody is a strong one, but the conflicting vibe of the melody vs. the subject matter makes for an uncomfortable mix sometimes when one listens closely, pretty much par for the course for Blue Moves.

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