Countdown to Pete Yorn’s ArrangingTime :: Day 5 of 11
Day five starts today and if you didn’t know already, ArrangingTime is streaming over at Apple Music a week early for subscribers. If you are able to listen, what a wonderful way to soundtrack your weekend. I won’t spoil anyone here though, as a song-by-song review is being crafted to post here at lyriquediscorde.com first thing Friday morning, the day of the release – with the hope that when everyone reads it they will have their own copy of the album to listen along with.
I will say though, that the album is fantastic, and may very well be Pete’s best yet.
As a reminder, if you haven’t pre-ordered the album yet, if you click here and are among the next 200 VINYL orders your album will be signed. There’s still time! Also, though, you can order the album as a digital download, or as a CD – click here, as well as other fun merchandise (tee shirts, hats, past albums) – click here.
Now for day five. It’s time for album three of Pete’s solo work, Nightcrawler, released in 2006. This album has always felt like a short-story collection to me, which as a writer if something I keep going back to for inspiration, and to take in the notion of storytelling, character, setting, place, and time – all here in song.
Every listen to this album reveals another story-layer for me, which makes for quite the listening experience.
Nightcrawler was a slow-burn for me, at first. When I first picked up the album I did not immediately connect to any one song, or songs, the way I did with Pete’s first two albums. That said, once they hit me, after multiple listens, they sunk in deep and never went away. A few of the songs, like The Man and Maybe I’m Right, joined the ranks of my all-time favorite songs, and will most likely always be there.
As I said before, this album feels like a collection of stories, all self-contained, yet, as with Pete’s other songs, they are told to us without giving too much away, letting us play co-writer, to a certain degree, filling in the blanks with pieces of ourselves.
This album is full of characters, too me, ones that we may have met before, in earlier albums, or that may be completely new. I like to sometimes listen to each song and sketch out, in my mind, who each one is, what they look like, what they feel and do in this world, and what their wants are (yes, all that is a writing exercise, but it is also a great way to take in an album sometimes).
There is a fantastic duet on here with Natalie Maines (The Man), a Warren Zevon cover (Splendid Isolation) and a song written for Jeff Buckley (Bandstand in the Sky).
My Top 5:
5. Bandstand in the Sky
Written for Jeff Buckley after his death, Bandstand in the Sky is unexpectedly hopeful in its sound and feeling. There is definitely a bittersweet thread weaved in and out of every chord and line, but something about the song is filled with hope to me. Perhaps it is the hope for music in the afterlife, for second chances, for clarity and melody. As someone who lost a someone dear, maybe that’s just what I want to take from the song, what I hope is there (see, there’s that hope again).
“So come with me
to a river I have seen,
on the way we can wash off
in the stream
Time is waiting for the lightning
You can take my life,
but I’ll never die.”
4. Broken Bottle
There is something about this song that always felt like a reunion, a homecoming, a return back to the neighborhood you grew up in, or maybe a meet-up with a friend, or old lover, that you haven’t seen in years. Maybe its a love trying things again, or maybe this is all about leaving home. For me, this song has always fit into that place in me that gives second chances, to others, and to myself.
I love Pete’s voice in this song.
“I’m gonna buy you a new ride, baby,
gonna buy you a new line, baby.
Something inside just walks me home.”
3. Ice Age
There is something very sad within this song to me, though I think, on the surface, it washes over me as a love song. Still, there is something else here, something layered, and complex, and sad. I feel like there is a love on the verge of dying here, a love that perhaps has frozen in time — maybe in a memory of the good times — but in that state of immobility there can be no moving forward. Holding on though, still holding on, and maybe the warmth of that, the heat between two, will thaw it out. But after the thaw will they walk together, or away?
Something about this song makes me think it will be to walk away.
“Those summer years
we’d follow them
in light of day,
in light of us.
We’ll see it through,
when they’re playing our song.”
2. The Man
Natalie Maines sounds great singing-a-long with Pete in this song. This song reminds me of the singer-songwriters from the 70’s that were playing often in my house while I was young girl. There is that sensibility here, the pop-infusion, the emotional heft, the melody that sticks and stays. There is another story here, something filled with mystery and history, and there is something dreamy here, too. I listen and close my eyes, my mind wandering off into daydreams, while I sway a bit, back-and-forth.
“It’s clear to me,
you’re like the oceans and the light;
try and you’ll remember what you used to be.”
1. Maybe I’m Right
Unlike the frozen love of Ice Age, I feel like Maybe I’m Right takes us to the start of a relationship. It isn’t a smooth run though, or at least it doesn’t feel/sound like one, but there’s something there, that spark, that interest, that give-and-take and early fascination. There’s uncertainty, but there’s also possibility.
I love the intro and build of this song. So much.
“I said, “Hey, baby, baby, baby, I’ll take you tonight.”
And I’ll see you on the other side, sugar,
Your pleasant face, your crooked smile.
Maybe tomorrow is a lifetime away…”
Keep Art Alive :: Photo by Jim Wright