Monday, December 29, 2008

Land of Talk, "Some Are Lakes" (#7)

"Some Are Lakes"
(Elizabeth Powell)
Land of Talk
Some Are Lakes

Here's a great newish band (from Montreal, of course, like every newish band of the past five years) with a fantastic, pretense-free pop song. It's the best of early R.E.M. filtered through the best of their '90s and '00s imitators--jangly but propulsive, cheerily melodic but dark somehow beneath the surface.

I'll confess that I generally don't like bands with female singers. I'd like to think it's less misogyny than the fact that I can't sing along with them. (This may also explain why I count Johnny Cash lower than most of his outlaw peers.) But I couldn't sing along with these lyrics anyway. It's fun to watch message boards try to collective figure out what on earth Liz Powell is singing here.

So she's stealing Michael Stipe's act (circa 1983) from him. And you know what? It works, and "Some Are Lakes" is way, way better than anything on R.E.M.'s 2008 Accelerate and maybe--and I'll risk the scorn of rock historians and Athenians alike here--better than anything on Murmur. Powell is hypnotic in the way Stipe was in his salad days, and sexy to boot. The only lyric I can make out is "I'll love you like I love you--then I'll die." I'm not sure what that means, but I wouldn't mind hearing Powell sing it to me on my deathbed.

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