31 July 2016

(Belated) Music Day - Looking Glass

Next up, on 'this week in Kate's existential crisis'...

I actually forgot this song existed until I was scrolling through my iTunes library looking for good tap dance improv practice songs.

The entire album is White Heart at its most mature and most mellow. By this point, the powerhouse six-piece rock band had dwindled to three -- Rick Florian, Mark Gersmehl, and Billy Smiley. This song opens with an acoustic guitar, of all things. Rick's voice is still smooth as butter (although most of the songs featured Gersh on lead vocals, so the point is kind of moot). But the fire behind their playing had dwindled to a mere ember.

This is not to discount this album entirely. What the album lacked in musical imagination, it almost made up for in sheer depth of songwriting. The lyrics here are some of the most probing and mature ever released under the White Heart name.

There's an irony, I think, in starting this album with an attempt at a recommitment song and then spending the rest of the album talking about estranged relationships. The irony is furthered by the fact that this is White Heart's last album to date, and it is extremely likely they knew this at the time they recorded it. It's something like starting with Independence Day and then following it up with a SUPER mellow ABBA album. It could have come off well if the other songs weren't so depressing. This is probably the most upbeat song on the album (which tells you a lot).

Title: Looking Glass
Artist: White Heart
Album: Redemption
Year: 1997
Label: Curb Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.

It's a shame, though, that this was their last album. They could have done so much better. They could have gone out with a bang. But instead this must stand as their final work (because at this point it doesn't appear that they'll ever get their collective act together enough to even record a new song, even though there are hundreds of us waiting with wallets open to Kickstart this thing).

I want to heal
Want to feel my heart again
And not the way it's been...

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