Out of the whole of Kevin Devine’s discography, this is the album to which I’ve paid the least amount of attention. So this will be a truly fresh listen.
After review: man, this album is sad. Not in the sense that it’s bad. Sad in the sense that these songs are just… soaked with melancholy.
I went and saw Kevin Devine live for the first time last year when he opened for mewithoutYou. It was a moving, inspiring performance, one that quite literally moved me to tears. The song that did me in was “Tapdance” – have a look at some of these lyrics and you’ll see an indication of why, I hope:
And you tapdance
To a jazz band
On a cruise ship
Near an island
And your hair’s up
You wear a short dress
And a wide smile
Your movements are careless
It’s a daydream
I keep having
To make the clocks move
While I’m working
I’ve said it before, but Devine has a rare way with words; the kind of artist that inspires some to do better, or for many (e.g., me), inspires me to quit forever. It’s such simple, straight-forward prose sometimes that I wonder, “How did I not think of that?”
I’m glad for Kevin’s incredibly successful Kickstarter venture. Proud, even, that music can still be supported in a big way even in this current state of amorphous… blobular flux.
As for Make the Clocks Move (and really, always): KevDev is rooted in deeply introspective, personal lyrics. I couldn’t begin to imagine how one person bares his soul on stage every night for the last decade. I guess I have him through which I can live vicariously, because that type of eloquent transparency… not for me.
From 2003, here’s Kevin Devine’s “Ballgame”:
Standout tracks: “Noose Dressed Like A Necklace” and “Tapdance”
Weakest track: I have a strange love/hate relationship with “Marie” – as in, it strikes a chord, I just don’t know if it’s off key.
RIYL: Honest acoustic music. Brand New, Bad Books, Andy Hull’s Right Away, Great Captain! project.