August 21, 2008
Last week’s Recommend a Track got this series off to a great start. In fact, some readers already flagged songs I was planning on featuring in future weeks: Sugarland, “Stand Back Up” (Lanibug); Tim McGraw, “Why We Said Goodbye” (Aeroyacine); and Faith Hill, “Stronger” (Stephanie). Longtime reader Roger Newcomb shared the Bobbie Cryner masterpiece “Girl of Your Dreams”, which led to others confessing their affection for that phenomenal singer-songwriter.
Joseph really got me because I was going to write about Sara Evans’ “Rocking Horse” this week. Darn!
Instead, I’m starting things off with a track from Nickel Creek’s Why Should the Fire Die? – “Helena.”
That particular Creek album has a bitter edge throughout, at least on what I consider the best tracks. I tend to like the band best when it’s Chris Thile in front, especially since he started singing with rough intensity on this project.
“Helena” is a tour de force. I can’t fully describe the premise, but in short, Helena is the girl who he’s been dating while waiting for the girl he truly loves to give him “any reason to leave.” The song starts out soft and sweet, as he seems to be sincerely concerned for Helena, but a viciousness begins to seep in. The production builds as well, into a thunderous climax as he spews, “Go ahead and tell her anything you want. ‘Cause Helena, guys like me never sleep alone at night. ”
It’s one of those songs I can’t listen to just once.
What’s your recommendation this week? What overlooked album track deserves our attention?