Friday, September 7, 2012
Classic Album Review - Steve Taylor - I Predict 1990
See for yourself! Okay, so maybe there were only four cameras but in the late 80s it seemed like a dozen. After three scorchers they show things down with “Babylon.” This one was never a favorite but it’s got plenty of 80s atmosphere and some gosh darned good lyrics. “Jim Morrison’s Grave” is another killer track, taking a critical view of our hero worship with lyrics of “I get weary, Lord I don't understand / How a seed get strangled in the heart of a man / While the music covers like an evening mist / Like a watch still ticking on a dead man's wrist / Tick away.” “Svengali” features another nervous rhythm, saxophones, and quite a bit of that late 80s vibe. Don’t get me wrong, it still sounds good, though. “Jung and the Restless” was just okay with a funny spoken word bit in the middle and subdued electric guitars elsewhere. “Innocence Lost” had more sax (oh yeah… the era!) and a spacious, slightly creepy while “A Principled Man” merges in Celtic influences, urging, challenging and encouraging the listener to stand up for your beliefs. The final track, “Harder To Believe Than Not To,” is one of the best. Opening with operatic vocals singing a line by Rachmaninoff (who the liner notes credit to something like “I’d dead so I can sue you”, even though by the time his widow would probably have had recourse) this fragile song of shimmering strings and flutes is completely unlike anything else on the album. It’s pretty much unlike any other song I’ve heard, chamber music of a sort, I suppose. This song was a great encouragement to my early years, warning against those who “tossed away the cloak that [they] should have mended.” I Predict 1990 is an album that is greater than the sum of its parts, arriving in my life with exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. Thanks, Steve!