Songs & Other Things
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Top Customer Reviews
It seems odd to issue this in tandem with "Around", but they are two sides of the same coin. The emphasis here is on guitar work. Verlaine has always been more of a cult guitarist, underrated by the mainstream, but his work here is a showcase. The songs seem written and structured expressly to show off his guitar work; it's hard to imagine the songs played by anyone else.
But as much as I loved Dreamtime (and Words From the Front, The Wonder, Flashlight and Cover)I always wondered how it could ever sound as good live. With Songs Verlaine has produced a set that you can hear from the stage, he and Jimmy Ripp going at one another as I'm sure they are on tour right now. He's also, significantly, expanded his sonic textures: There's a lot of guitar work here that tonally is new and different from anything I've heard. But the attack and resonance is still pure Tom.
If I'm not mistaken TV's in his late fifties about now, and he is still a more interesting songwriter, guitarist, and most importantly, arranger than anyone else who came out of the CBGB scene with the exception of his buddy Patti Smith. On Songs, his arrangements are just terrific, and repeated listenings reward you with growing awareness of the nuance of the playing by all bandmembers and how TV uses this to shape the feel and reach of each song; not as dense as what you'll find in Dreamtime or Flash Light, the guitar work is still surprising me with every listen--great with headphones, great but different with the stereo cranked.Read more ›
It's about atmosphere and text. Sometimes surprisingly dark and creepy, sometimes amorous. But in the end, elusive. Verlaine's lyrics have always been elusive lyrically. On this one, it becomes a quality of the arrangements as well.
There's a lot here to be discovered and enjoyed, sonically, conceptually. It just wasn't what I thought I was looking for when I first started to listen.
"Dreamtime", his self titled solo release, and "Cover" are more consistent albums. Hopefully, rykodisc or someone will take those great records, remaster them, and release them again, since as far as I can tell, they've never been released other than on vinyl.
Maybe the title is ironically appropriate. About half of the songs are really great on this CD, and then there's the "other things".
It's still great to hear new music from the reclusive Verlaine, and I wouldn't miss his live show for anything if he decided to tour.
Hopefully, this is the beginning of a more active period. Please don't make us wait for 13 years between each time, Tom!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very beautiful and diverse songs. Love the lyrics too. Guitar and Tom's voice are cool.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
some great performances on this record from the sidemen, particularly the drummer on shingaling - maybe the best drum performance I've ever heard on a record.Published on November 26, 2012 by funkygh
Even after a number of listens, I can't really find a way into this. Verlaine is not, and never has been, an outstanding lyricist, and with the vocals relatively up front here,... Read morePublished on March 29, 2008 by M. S. Thomas
this is not tom verlaine, the punk guitar god of old ...
this is all very calm and VERY mellow ...
what saved this for me was IT IS tom verlaine! Read more
I have bought all Tome Verlaine records, and most Television albums. After listening intently to this album for the last month, I believe that it is hands down the best Tom... Read morePublished on June 25, 2006 by Brit Bunkley