Sammy the Seal

“Why did you not talk to me? You said you would talk to me”

In vinyl on Tuesday, 27 March, 2012 at 14:17

Song: I’m A Ghost
Artist: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
Album: Hearts Of Oak

There are not many things can cleanse like a good solo, much less one by Ted Leo. This is one of the most satisfying solos I’ve ever heard. “I don’t mess around,” it says, “I’m unfuckwithable.” In an album review for this album, the author described his as “skillful, noisy exorcisms”– contrasted with “technical flaunting”– which sounds about right. I can never turn this song up loud enough. And yet, from 2:15 to 2:40, I bump it up just a bit higher. The very rough, raw quality of the song as a whole continues to thrill and spark the hell out of me, nine years after it was released. Ted’s vocals are as impressive and impassioned as ever, and, whether or not you completely agree with him (his lyrics don’t often hide their politics/meanings), you have to respect that he wears his heart all over his sleeves. Very few truly do.

It’s not enough that the guitar work often makes my hair stand up, but top it off at 3:40 with a white-hot, blistering coda and Ted’s awkward, unabashed, unrestrained wailing, and you have a song that makes my ears and head hurt because I keep listening to it.

(I should find a good performance of this as proof, but I don’t have time right now. Hm.)


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