overground scene

poets and madmen, all defy reason
July 26, 2010, 5:27 pm
Filed under: people | Tags: , ,

Roky Erickson is an unbeliavably briliant artist. He is the fountain of melody. His words and music are so pure and sincere, as if corporate hands were never laid on them. When I listen to his songs I feel that there is an aspect of humanity still worth fighting for. People who have been following his career and personal life are well aware of the trials and tribulations along his path. Minor successes, drugs, state institutions, abandonement, death and rebirth, things that are usually found in hollywood movies. The suffering and pain he has felt are well reflected in his post-elevators writing. Listening to his new album today I get an overflow of feelings that are damn difficult to contextualise.

It breaks my heart listening to “please judge” and thinking that these are the words Roky would have wished someone to have spoken to the person sentencing him 4 decades ago. Wil Shef’s (from Okkervil River) beautiful words inside the booklet of the new album show someone who genuinely cares about Roky. Roky for sure would not be able to release a new album without a band backing him up and taking care of all production aspects. Of course, on the other hand, any band’s association with Roky would immediately further its career. I guess something’s gotta give.

The other thing I have been thinking about is to what extent would Roky want to be involved in this whole project. I am sure he wants to play music, but I am not sure if he wants to perform live and go through all these pressures of touring. And again, having a new Roky album is a great thing for his fans, band and for his manager but I am not sure about Roky’s control over it. Of course, all these are just personal thoughts.  In any case, words cannot describe this new album! I’ve been listening to it non-stop and while at first I had picked out favourite songs (Dedicational, Goodbye sweet dreams, Bring back the past, Forever) now I love them all and I get shivers listening to them. The orchestrations do justice to Roky’s amazing melodies and introduce an element of surprise. That is a result of the combination between the traditional country/bluesy songwriting and the poppy/alternative orchestration. The lyrics of most songs make sense if one thinks of Roky’s turbulent life and when they don’t make sense I am sure they do to Roky. The dominant topic is the need for companionship. But even without the lyrics the music of this album speaks by itself. And the message is kind and associated with all that is beautiful in our world.


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