Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Track Attack- "Up All Night"

Forever. We all dream of forever in its various guises. Of living forever. Of being together forever. Of loving and be loved forever. But forever is a mighty long time, and ultimately fleeting. It's the unattainable. The idea of the eternal has been in pop music's bloodstream since the very beginning. It's there in "Be My Baby," when Ronnie Spector overwhelmed with elation sings "you know I will adore you til' eternity." The idea of remaining young forever is at the heart of the yearning "Thirteen" by Big Star. It haunts the lonely house of The Cure's "Love Song" "however long I stay, I will always love you." And it's inescapable on "Up All Night," the closing track on Best Coast's new LP, The Only Place

The opening guitar figure suggests eternality. A shimmering figure cut from the cloth of Orbison, Nelson & Elvis. In seconds, Bethany Cosentino's guitar-playing paints the picture of a slow-moving summer night, a realm her songs often inhabit. "You and me, too good to be," Cosentino woefully sings. "Too true to see," she continues, trying to convince herself of something that was never there. Finally the thread unravels and she's "too dumb to see," that she was in a romance that couldn't be forever. "Way too lazy to make it work," is the pitiable payoff. And with that Cosentino is left standing at a door never to be opened again, "still alone, still awake, and still afraid."

"I don't know what day it is, cause I've been up all night," is the start to Cosentino's listless journey on the stormy seas of love. Cosentino longs of seeing her former flame "forever and ever," but can never get her wish. Any chance has been squandered. While "Up All Night," initially recalls The Ronettes "Be My Baby" with it's talk of the eternal, a more apt comparison lies in "Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love." In both tracks there's a sense that something greater than the "enduring" love of two people is at work. It's as if time itself has rightfully intervened, knowing full well no love can ever pass its test.

As the song tenderly ambles on, a violin discretely enters in while Cosentino still wishes. The longing in her voice swells when she makes one last ditch effort for forever, the violin right along for the ride. All out of words to convey her desperation, Cosentino effervescently oohs as each instrument floats away. After weeks of restless nights, Cosentino has given up and gone to bed. And with the resignation, she's become forever's latest casualty.

"Up All Night"


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