2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

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Rorschach
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2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Rorschach » 03 Feb 2020, 13:16

I liked Silver Jews so I was definitely interested when I heard that David Berman had another group and a new album out.
I wasn't disappointed. I love his singing and his lyrics and, while I don't think the music is up to the same standard, it's decent enough.

Sadly, he won't be providing us with any more of his splendid poetry as he committed suicide just a month after the album. After listening to this track, that hardly seems surprising. But, anyway, I rate the whole album very highly.

If you like that sort of thing ...

And there's even a reference in there for the proggers.

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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Carlsson » 03 Feb 2020, 14:48

The vocals reminded me of a youngish Leonard Cohen which isn't a bad thing.

Some nice mellotron to for us prog goons.

Over 6 minutes long too!

A bit 'ploddy' but reasonably robust nonetheless - the mellotron lifted it





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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Flower » 03 Feb 2020, 16:11

Sadly, he won't be providing us with any more of his splendid poetry as he committed suicide just a month after the album. After listening to this track, that hardly seems surprising. But, anyway, I rate the whole album very highly.

The lyrics, knowing that David Berman committed suicide, made it a bit difficult to fully take in. I did enjoy it and will give it another listen, or two or three ... :)
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Rorschach » 03 Feb 2020, 16:21

Flower wrote:Sadly, he won't be providing us with any more of his splendid poetry as he committed suicide just a month after the album. After listening to this track, that hardly seems surprising. But, anyway, I rate the whole album very highly.

The lyrics, knowing that David Berman committed suicide, made it a bit difficult to fully take in. I did enjoy it and will give it another listen, or two or three ... :)


Good! And if you still like it, look up the whole album; it's excellent, if a bit 'emotional' as an experience.
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby harvey k-tel » 03 Feb 2020, 17:37

The quaver in his voice during the first verse almost puts me over the edge each time I listen to this song. It really is one of the saddest things I've heard. I think 'Margaritas at the Mall' might be my favourite tune on the album.
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Minnie the Minx » 03 Feb 2020, 19:51

I’d never heard this till today and it’s lovely isn’t it.
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Rorschach » 03 Feb 2020, 19:54

harvey k-tel wrote:The quaver in his voice during the first verse almost puts me over the edge each time I listen to this song. It really is one of the saddest things I've heard. I think 'Margaritas at the Mall' might be my favourite tune on the album.


I like that one too, but then I like the whole album. The song about his mother kills me. It’s a bit sentimental, but so am I.
The whole album is really poignant, especially in the context of what happened after.
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby toomanyhatz » 03 Feb 2020, 20:36

It's probably my record of the year - or at least I can't think of one I put above it.

The line "all the suffering gets done by the ones we leave behind" is particularly devastating. As is his clarity. He's being very upfront about what he's going through, and it has a dark humor behind it that makes me smile and then makes me feel uncomfortable about smiling. It's an incredible album, really. Plus the musical choices are unusual - "She's Making Friends, I'm Turning Stranger" in particular.

Really, everybody should hear it. It's depressing as hell, but the presentation isn't at all dreary.
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Rorschach » 05 Feb 2020, 08:04

Minnie the Minx wrote:I’d never heard this till today and it’s lovely isn’t it.


Well, listen to the album, like that and then, get into Silver Jews. Then I'll feel like one of those influencer people.

The rest of the album is great, by the way.
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Geezee » 05 Feb 2020, 09:41

It had a similar effect to me as David Bowie's last album, which (and I'm aware many had the same experience) I listened to non-stop over the weekend after it was released, and only served to make the announcement of his death on the Monday morning, if possible, even more heart-breaking and distressing. Silver Jews were hugely important to me at university and American Water was a soundtrack of my life during that time. In 1984 I was hospitalised for approaching perfection. I was inspired by his battle with his father, at a time when I'd fallen out with my own father. I'd lost touch with them a little bit over the years while he was on his extended break, but I'd heard that Berman was coming out with a new album, and immediately felt that I was precisely in the mood to listen to him again - and absorbed the album completely over the course of the weeks between it was released and his death. I still can't quite process it. Couldn't listen to after that until I was compiling my 2019 list, and even then I can't quite touch it properly. I'll find my way back eventually.
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Rorschach » 05 Feb 2020, 13:15

toomanyhatz wrote:It's probably my record of the year - or at least I can't think of one I put above it.

The line "all the suffering gets done by the ones we leave behind" is particularly devastating. As is his clarity. He's being very upfront about what he's going through, and it has a dark humor behind it that makes me smile and then makes me feel uncomfortable about smiling. It's an incredible album, really. Plus the musical choices are unusual - "She's Making Friends, I'm Turning Stranger" in particular.

Really, everybody should hear it. It's depressing as hell, but the presentation isn't at all dreary.


Well put.

In fact, it's the title that I find the most poignant line. It makes me think of what I'll miss seeing happen to people I love, especially my son.

I also love the line:
"And death is a black camel that kneels down so we can ride".
I think it says a lot about his state of mind, where death is not scary, it's positively inviting.

He was a great lyricist.
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Hightea » 09 Feb 2020, 21:07

Haunting song considering. I liked Silver Jews saw them in 08 during their short term live tours.
Someone mentioned Purple Mountains a few months ago so listened to it a few times since. Dark but still the whole album is very powerful.

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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Minnie the Minx » 10 Feb 2020, 00:56

Rorschach wrote:
Minnie the Minx wrote:I’d never heard this till today and it’s lovely isn’t it.


Well, listen to the album, like that and then, get into Silver Jews. Then I'll feel like one of those influencer people.

The rest of the album is great, by the way.


I did do that. Random Rules half kills me ( I only got to that through Dean and Britta.)
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby soundchaser » 10 Feb 2020, 15:34

Carlsson’s right, it’s very Leonard Cohen. But I could never get with him and I couldn’t get with this either. Obviously very sad and depression is such a horrendous experience, but this strikes me as an indication of intent if ever I heard one: way past a cry for help. Sometimes, people just have a death wish: perhaps no one could have caught him anyway. As a song though, not for me and not one I’d want to listen to again.

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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Carlsson » 10 Feb 2020, 16:11

soundchaser wrote:Carlsson’s right, it’s very Leonard Cohen. But I could never get with him and I couldn’t get with this either. Obviously very sad and depression is such a horrendous experience, but this strikes me as an indication of intent if ever I heard one: way past a cry for help. Sometimes, people just have a death wish: perhaps no one could have caught him anyway. As a song though, not for me and not one I’d want to listen to again.


A nice bit of mellotron for us prog goons though - wasn't there Richard....?

Yes, a nice bit of mellotron




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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Rorschach » 10 Feb 2020, 16:20

C wrote:
A nice bit of mellotron for us prog goons though - wasn't there Richard....?

Yes, a nice bit of mellotron


And a Moody Blues reference! What about that?
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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Carlsson » 10 Feb 2020, 16:27

Rorschach wrote:
C wrote:
A nice bit of mellotron for us prog goons though - wasn't there Richard....?

Yes, a nice bit of mellotron


And a Moody Blues reference! What about that?


Indeed!

Nights that won’t happen
Time we won't spend
Time we won't spend
With each other again
With each other again







Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you







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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby soundchaser » 10 Feb 2020, 18:03

C wrote:
soundchaser wrote:
A nice bit of mellotron for us prog goons though - wasn't there Richard....?

Yes, a nice bit of mellotron

.


It was okay C, but the song wasn’t enough for me to want to listen to it again.

Have you heard Blur’s He Thought Of Cars? Great use of mellotron there.

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Re: 2019 top tunes No. 5: Purple Mountains

Postby Rorschach » 11 Feb 2020, 09:00

C wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
C wrote:
A nice bit of mellotron for us prog goons though - wasn't there Richard....?

Yes, a nice bit of mellotron


And a Moody Blues reference! What about that?


Indeed!

Nights that won’t happen
Time we won't spend
Time we won't spend
With each other again
With each other again







Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you







.



He actually sings, "Never reaching the end" on the second and third choruses.
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