April 15, 2009

Finale: The End of WeLeftYouSleepingAndGoneNow

Johnny Foreigner -- WeLeftYouSleepingAndGoneNow
And so we finally address the remaining two tracks from WeLeftYouSleepingAndGoneNow, Johnny Foreigner's obscure first long-player which was released in a hyper-limited edition of 40 handmade copies in 2005. But you know all that, yeah, 'cos you've been following along as we dissected the album over the last two months [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. As we've already discussed the first eight and the final tracks, we're left with track nine and ten to assess. Coincidentally, these are also two of the more singular cuts from the collection. Not bad by any (any!) stretch, but fairly unusual and we can see them being sequenced toward the end not only because there is a sense of finality to them, but also it might have been hard to wedge them in anywhere else.

"My Interest In Saving You Is More Than Idle Curiosity" opens with a percolating, uptempo rhythm, blasts through a short crescendo and drops into a tidy verse. Guitars call and respond across the stereo field, there is a delicate interlude just before the two-minute mark, and then a gradual build drags us into sonic tumult, overlayed by band fronter Alexei Berrow ranting with an accusatory tone. Feedback plumes point toward a breakdown led by airy synths and punctuated by crash cymbals, and then cascading radio noise ushers in what must be the end of the album, a sad cataclysm through the end of the fourth minute that gives way and decomposes into the stereo field. But of course, it is not the end of the album.

Track 10 is the brief, atmospheric elegy "A Light In Every Home/Lights Are Dancing." As one who has been verily intoxicated on over-the-counter allergy medicine for about a week, we can tell you this transient pastiche of acoustic guitar, synth swells, chimes, snare, loops and noise has been constantly reinventing itself in our head. It is a very curious piece of music, but it is also poignant and wistful. It conveys loss, powerfully and bluntly, but not all at once or in individual moments, but rather as a dreadful accumulation of regret. It is difficult to believe that the record doesn't end here as well, but of course we already know that WeLeftYouSleepingAndGoneNow closes with "A Slow Song For The End," and its heartbreaking clarinet solo. So really, the problem of the three final tracks of Johnny Foreigner's collection is that they are all equally brilliant final words on the matter, all devastating break-up mix-tape fodder. All deliver a sense of an ending. And here we are.

Johnny Foreigner -- "My Interest In Saving You Is More Than Idle Curiosity" -- WeLeftYouSleepingAndGoneNow
Johnny Foreigner -- "A Light In Every Home/Lights Are Dancing" -- WeLeftYouSleepingAndGoneNow
[right click and save as]
[buy in-print Johnny Foreigner records here and here]

No comments: