Bleeding Like Mine
Never again will I dream
~reviewed by Jezabel
Quietly and sensually the music from the second release from this band makes its way out of the speakers and into the bowels of whatever disparity you are feeling in your life. Frightening how the simple sounds and soft tones of vocal can actually grab you – but it is in this that BLM succeeds. Curt and Holly Emmer have again made something that is in the world of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Libitina, lovespiralsdownward and takes their own place among them.
The vocals of Holly Emmer and guest vocalist Hugues Dammarie, from O Quam Tristis… (who also performs flute) gently weave a curtain of despairing words and emotions through the lyrics of Curt Emmer. It seems we are going through a devastating breakup and feeling every shift in love, hate,despair, desolation, loneliness, regret, hope and betrayal. This is the epitome of the volume of poetry written by the 16 year old feeling his or her first breakup – but yet with the ability to write like an adult.
It is almost as we are taken through the five stages of death. Denial, anger, etc. In fact, Denial is the second track and it states clearly, succinctly what goes though so many minds initially after thebreak-up…..
No, I know you’ll be back, what with the life we are building, and the castle wallaround us…..or between us?
And the fear, as one wonders how one will go on, “without the strength of you open arms I will surely not survive.” And then the questions and perhaps, subtlety– the anger, “When will you realize the mistake you’ve made?” And more anger comes in Shallow and beyond where the anger starts to build lyrically and continues to do so in "Waiting for the harvest never to come". And then gradual start of acceptance, “You can’t replace the past, can you? Even if you watch the movie” You can start to hear it. The questioning of it all –"Did we ever know love at all?”. And then the proclamation in "Untitled #27: Renewal,“ "Teach me to have, and to hold and to feel the powers of love once again.” And that wonderful time, when you know that you will never feel like this again, you won’t listen to that album that makes you think of the other person, you won’t go to that diner again, “Never again will I relive the time of you.” But the real acceptance comes later, in track #16, “ I’m a better person for losing you. I’ve learned all I can from the memory of you, not it’s time for me to go on…. it’s time for you to go.” But does it really come at all? In the liner notes, Track #16 has lyrics, on the CD itself, it doesn’t. Leaving the listener to contemplate if the resolution of a broken heart has truly come or is it wishful thinking and hope of the writer?
I think the only shortcoming of the lyrics is the over use, abuse we may say, of the question and the question mark. Of the 16 songs this CD offers, 8 have questions, most have more than one. And although this may sound like I am being picky – I think there may have been more innovative ways of phraseology than that and, reading the lyrics, as I am want to do – it gets tedious. I do understand the doubt and questioning that obviously is done during times that are described and emoted about throughout this album, but it is the artists’ job to bring a new twistand a unique way of relating those questions. But enough said on that.
The voices of Holly and Hugues are actually perfectly suited for the music and blend well with it, creating a perfect marriage. I would have loved to hear a duet with the two, feeding off the softness, yet intensity of their voices. The strongest of the male songs, coupled with the music, not only the vocals, is "Faith Abandoned"….there is something very hypnotizing of it all, of the repetition and Hugues lovely tenor dancing over the notes. As for the female led songs, all are strong, her alto voice finding lovely nuances with a note, almost in the vein as Monica Richards can do – but softer, more angelic sounding.
There are some mysterious, if not basically quirky things about this band. One, despite checking out several websites, I could find no history of the band, more info on the members, or from where they come. I~think~ the States would be the answer for Curt and Holly, but assume Hugues is from Europe (I am guessing France or Italy) as the fact that English is not his first language seems apparent on several tracks. Two, rather uniquely, they are very forthright about where the majority of the album was recorded – in the apartment of Holly and Curt. What strikes me about that is the normal fashion of creating a “name” for home studios to look more professional as a band has been abandoned. Now, I know quite a number of bands and their albums who have never even seen the inside of a professional studio, but you would never know from the liner notes, and perhaps more importantly from the quality. I don’t think is a bad idea for a band to do– creating a fictious name for a studio they record in. But the honesty of Curt and Holly is refreshing and somehow makes me give them perhaps more leeway in quality – which they don’t need anyway.
The music is lovely and relaxing. All I wanted to do while listening to this album was to get into a warm bubble bath in a room filled with candles and drink a lovely glass of rich burgundy. Soothing despite thesubject.
Bleeding Like Mine are forthis recording:
Distribution from Palace ofWorms