Sammy the Seal

“Do you want to go away from here?”

In vinyl on Sunday, 20 March, 2011 at 21:11

Song: Leave the Drummer Out There
Artist: Asobi Seksu
Album: Fluorescence

Okay, I couldn’t resist any longer. Hey, I made it two weeks, not bad. Anyway, this is one of those songs I didn’t think too much of, then heard it live, then listened to it over and over right after the show, which is amazing, as it’s almost seven minutes long. As a general rule, I am skeptical of songs that go more than 5:30 or 6:00. If you can’t make your point in four minutes or so, it had better be a good song, and I know this is subjective, but a good criterion is that a long song never feels that way. (An extreme example would be Wolf Parade’s “Kissing the Beehive” which has got to be the most economical 10:52 I’ve ever heard. I can’t imagine removing one single bar from that song, and every time I listen to it, it’s over before I know it.) If I am ever conscious of the run time on a song, that signals to me that, most likely, some kind of aimlessness and/or wanking around took place. I’m all for exploring outside the box, but that’s what the editing process is for, in any type of writing, even in something like blogging which inherently requires a certain degree of solipsism. (As a rather, uh, loquacious person, the self-editing process takes work, though I have come to realize how necessary it is.)

ANYWAY, this song here, obviously, runs contrary to that rule of mine. For a song almost seven minutes long, it never feels it, and I can’t imagine removing one bit of the song. In fact, the last 120 seconds are so splendid, I really think they could have extended it another 15 or 20 and pushed it over 7:00. Greed/indulgence has nothing to do with it, honestly, it just felt like it ended a mite too soon. Same with “Pink Light”, the final song on the album. The last minute of that song is so stirring and dramatic, I think it could have played itself out over another 30 seconds. And, I’ve said that about “Familiar Light” on Hush, a brisk 3:22 that didn’t feel complete– I would have loved to hear another thirty or forty seconds. I most often lean in favor of songwriting economy, but I thought they should have indulged themselves a little more on those three. Crazy, I never thought I’d hear myself say that : )

Yuck, I feel so clinical and didactic now– the danger of writing about music. So, I will end by saying, again, how grateful I am for Yuki’s vocal performances on this album, I think this is my favorite. Strong, graceful, and comforting. This is the album I didn’t know I was waiting for.

  1. […] Tracks: 1. Coming Up* 2. Trails 3. My Baby 4. Perfectly Crystal* 5. In My Head* 6. Leave the Drummer Out There 7. Sighs 8. Deep Weird Sleep* 9. Counterglow 10. Ocean 11. Trance Out* 12.  Pink Light * […]

  2. […] sad now, no more 6+ minute songs– they only have three, plus this and this. I tend not to favor extended jams, but I really like theirs. Very noisy and cathartic, […]

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