"Oh please my darling forgive what I've done/I've found
nothing just some big lonely world/so take me back please my lover/it
took a train to discover/I cannot be without you girl." The
chorus of "Train" from the latest record by the amazing
David Ford states it all in one simple-complex phrase.
Songs For The Road is filled with tunes that give a nod
to the classic country songs of America while transcending borders
with a rock and roll mysticism that is timeless and deeply engaging.
Surpassing the youthful self-righteous anger of his debut record,
Ford has put together a collection of songs that are filled with
a human yearning, a feeling of universal longing to which it is
easy to relate. While the songs on his first record were wildly
dynamic, sometimes to the point of erraticism, this new record
shows a bit more control and an inclination to put forth a more
relaxed demeanor. The tracks are still more dynamic than most
artists, but a bit restrained when compared to his last record.
And while I Sincerely Apologize For all The Trouble I've Caused
began with the ultra-dynamism and noisiness of tracks like "State
Of The Union" and then calmed to the gentler moments like
"Laughing Aloud", Songs For The Road begins with
the calmer bits and slowly works into a low-key frenzy, all the
while captivating the listener with its unique poetry.
Album opener "Go To Hell" is laced with strings and
gentle rhythms that belie the bitterness of the sentiments expressed.
The song sets the album up for some great breaking-up tunes, and
Ford doesn't disappoint. There are songs aplenty that express
the longing of separation and loss and lover bitterness. The 60's
Motown/The Jam musical flavor of "Decimate" is
a perfect setup for the bit of lyrical hope that the song contains,
and it swells with an honest look at love. The album turns back
down on the beautifully expressive "I'm Alright Now"
with its quiet acoustics and slow strings, and the weirdly Billy
Joel bounce of "Nobody Tells Me What To Do." The
album hits sonic and lyrical gold when "St. Peter" launches
- Ford poetically forgives the gatekeeper for not allowing him
through the pearly gates while the song builds from a slight guitar
anthem to a full-blown orchestral booming, finally hitting the
stride that was found on the early tracks of I Sincerely Apologize
The aforementioned "Train" follows with its earnest
dissertation on the meanings of freedom, building the lyrical
emotion to a restrained fury before it all bursts loose in the
super-dynamic and aurally noisy beautifulness of "Requiem,"
the point where the album finally attains the same catastrophically
sonic glory that Ford introduced the world to on his debut. There
is an intense relief in this song as all hell breaks loose musically,
freeing the storyteller's heart to resolve itself in the closing
track. "Song For The Road" is probably the greatest
love song - for me - since Elton John's "Your Song"
or Depeche Mode's "Somebody." The lyrics express
things in a way that hits home very strongly to me, and the references
and the way that the sentiments are expressed are simply beautiful
and resonant within my heart, and I think it will be same for
many folks, especially musicians. "So you can keep your belief
in whatever/and I'll wear my cynicism like a tattoo/and while
poets try to engineer definitions of love/you know that all I
can think of is you."
With its dynamic reversal, maturing themes, and more focused
sentiments, Songs For The Road is a worthy successor to
I Sincerely Apologize For All The Trouble I've Caused. The
record is a perfect example of the art of the album, as the songs
string together a loose story that builds tension in the telling
until it finally breaks loose and resolves into a peaceful, focused
ending. This is the kind of album that Roger Waters could
(and did) build in his heyday, one that begs to be listened to
in its entirety, rather than pieced together on an MP3 player.
The songs stand alone very well as singles, but have a much greater
power when told as a series accompanied by their kin. So take
an hour and sit and re-realize why you fell in love with music
in the first place
bask in the beauty of Songs For The
Like this article?
to a friend!