So Valentine’s Day is coming! (Of course it has only meaning if you’re dating, married, or have someone to rely on AND live in Brazil by the time). As you all may notice, unfortunately I’m single (EVERYBODY CRY), but that doesn’t mean I won’t celebrate such an important date. I’ll celebrate it, on my own way. And I decided to share with you guys, giving you my TEN ALBUNS ABOUT BREAK-UPS THAT’LL BLOW YOUR HEART TO PIECES. (C’mon, that title is so damn cool xD) well, to the works:
Boys for Pele, by Tori Amos (Atlantic, 1996)
This is, for me, the final album about consumed relationships. BFP is a masterpiece, the most alternative, and obscure, intricate and inscrutable Tori record. She takes us into a melodic trip through her Böse, a magnificent harpsichord and a lot of organs, all beautifully played, as expected from her. Starting off with Beauty Queen/Horses, the tone of the record is set. Cryptic lyrics, crystalline, heavenly vocals and a lot of mournful ballads. I can pick out Putting the Damage On as a favorite, there’s no way anyone cannot demonstrate empathy while listening her practically whispering: “I’m trying not to move/it’s just your ghost passing through” all of it accompanied by a brass quartet. In Caught a Lite Sneeze (heart of the album), the programmed drum gives it a swaying rhythm while Tori pours out her heart screaming her disappointments onwards her lover, once their love was pretty much smaller than she imagined it was. Here is that kind of moment when we finally wake up from our personal nightmare and realize all is gone. Hey Jupiter is another highlight, only T and her Böse, (and a subtle organ) left. Her desperate is so compelling that she starts wondering if her love interest’s refusal is caused by some misuse of sexuality. But this album is not only built upon grief; cuts like Mr. Zebra, Professional Widow and Talula provide funny times. Away from bad romances also stand Father Lucifer (about having a tea with the Devil himself), Blood Roses (a fierce, raw, almost militant women empowerment subject) and Marianne, about a school friend of hers who prematurely died. I know Tori isn’t easy at first, mainly her odd (I rather say unusual) words and metaphors, but just give in to her musician skills, she crafted a baroque, gospel oriented, hymn-like sonic atmosphere that matches perfectly with the theme. If your heart is broken and you want to go all the way down in your own pit of misery, you must definitely get this record!
1. Putting the Damage On
2. Caught A Lite Sneeze
3. Hey Jupiter
When the Pawn Hits…, by Fiona Apple (Epic/Work Records, 1999)
Fiona came more ferocious on her sophomore effort. There are few traces of that naïve girl who was just stepping into adulthood we found back in Tidal. A ninety word title album (google it for whole thing) could only bear lots of turmoil feelings, and we can find plenty of them here. Opener On the Bound has a tumbling piano, a subtle drum and quirky sounds wrapping the reflections of a woman left in bittersweet, (surely) still in love and not wanting it to end, as she still demonstrates hopes to be with her loved one again, proved in lyrics like “Baby, lay your head on my lap one more time/Tell me you belong to me” and later, with a very ululating voice: “You’re all I need”. Incredibly tender. The torment goes on with To Your Love, where she regurgitates a “train of thoughts” she couldn’t let to (and more importantly – WANTED TO) spit right in the face of the one who stepped on her. On Limp, she states: “You feed the beast I have within me (…)/You find my trigger and then you blame my gun”; another example of how rabid (yet truly) we can get when brokenhearted. But she’s not a full throttled machinegun all the time, she shows good mood on Paper Bag, a tale in waltz tempo about how mistaken she was in put so much over her boyfriend. Fast As You Can is a winner, with its freaky drum (courtesy of always talented Matt Chamberlain) assisting her convulsive vocals. In it she’s more than dangerous, she’s like an atomic bomb ready to explode off the unlucky guy: “Fast as you can baby/Run, free yourself of me” she advises. In the middle section, the whole song stops and we gain the most brilliant, creative, passionate moment from Apple’s repertoire: she opens her heart, leaving her fury behind only to claim “a little because”, for being “tired of whys, choking on whys”; in center of flutes, strings and a beautiful piano played (again) as a waltz. But don’t think Fiona wasted her last shot; cause in the final cuts there’s still room for questioning the reasons why romances spoil. Get Gone is a haunting jazzy ballad, where the fragility of feminine is high lightened. She’s not sweet here, nevertheless she declares she knows her past wrongdoings but cannot go on like that anymore, she’s exhausted, and begs him to leave because no bounds ties the couple no more. The album closes with I Know, a very simple song, sonically; about how two people can grow bitterer in a relationship. She decides to move on, carrying all his faults, until all is finally said and done. When the Pawn Hits… is a must listen, not only to be a soundtrack for ended affairs, but mostly because of its high quality. Great lyrics, fine instrumentation and production, inspiring, emotive vocals and well crafted songwriting make this record a marvelous work of art.
1. Fast As You Can
2. Get Gone
3. On the Bound
Homogenic, by Björk (One Little Indian, 1997)
Without any doubts, Homogenic (erroneously named by Björk by lack of attention, the correct word would be ‘homogeneous’) was the recording that tracked Björk’s career, and clearly, it is her masterpiece. The majority of elements that define her musical identity were set here. Concerning the title, she wanted to express the sensation that these songs are similar in sound, so they seemed to be only one - that’s why the name. Born after a split, the album embodies eager, rage, grief, pain, and love, a lot o love – most of the times, a dying love. Hunter kicks off our trip with flamenco strings alongside military drums backgrounding Björk’s longing to search out new heights. Unravel is a key-ballad that shall melt you heart down the first time you hear it. She says the devil malevolently collected her love and unraveled it like a ball of yarn, so a new love has to be made. Standout Bachelorette is by far one of her bests ever, with theatrical, dramatic, over the top lyrics and instrumentation as well. The song is a lifestory in itself, so poetic, gorgeous, and best translated in the verses: “I’m a path of cinders/burning under your feet/you’re the one who walks me/I’m your one way street”. Darkness comes forth with All Neon Like, with its mysterious intro, soon to be hit by electronic beats and distorted noises, characteristic of the whole album. 5 Years shows off honesty, with the Icelandic singer crying out: “I dare you to take me on/I dare you to show me your palms” and mixes perfectly the main motifs present throughout the songs: the orchestration brilliantly conducted (and sometimes arranged) by Brazilian Eumir Deoadato and hyperproduced beats and drums programmed by LFO’s Mark Bell (who later would become her main and constant collaborator). These so opposite elements go to the next level in Plúto, a psytrance arena stomper, where Björk finds catharsis screaming her lungs out while the very heavy beats engulfs her, blowing all the pain away. I cannot help to mention two songs that do not flirt – at least directly – with suffering: Jóga, written for a close friend of hers, holds amazing strings and volcanic-like beats with moving lyrics; and the final track, fan favorite All is Full of Love, famous by its futuristic and conceptual video (constantly in exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City). If Heaven has a soundtrack, it must definitely be this song. After all she’s been through; Björk is still capable of filling us up with hope! Her vocals are angelical yet brave, the sound soft yet solid, the lyrics are clean but very, very meaningful. In the end, Homogenic leaves the listener astonished, stunned with the landscapes Björk and her team offered, demonstrating that despite our apparent simplicity found at surface, we all are much complex in essence.
1. All is Full of Love
To be continued...