Tuesday, August 16, 2005


When, back in 1993, I bought my first James' album ("Laid"), I have to confess I did it because of the hit-song "Sit Down", which was the one I knew.

One of the things I appreciate the most when buying music is to be surprised; in that occasion, I surely was!

Compared to "Seven", "Laid" is a quieter and subtler turn on James' career. In a way, one could say it undercut expectations; but I still believe it was more like a creative benchmark for the band. And each time I play this old CD, I can't help thinking this was James' artistic peak!

The most well known songs of this album are probably the lead single "Sometimes", which almost drowns under its own weight and speed, and the title track, a celebration of love and lust.

My favorite songs, however, have always been "One of the Three" (an harrowing meditation on Jesus and his apparently meaningless sacrifice...), "Out to Get You", "Knuckle Too Far" and, above them all, the two last tracks: the heartbreaking "Lullaby", and "Skindiving".

Nowadays, I have to confess that I listen much more to the "Getting Away With It... Live" CD, but I always revisit the enclosed literature of the "Laid" album. In one of the pages there is a small text that I keep considering one of those absolute truths life insists in reminding me about:

So, eventually you find true love, the missing piece. Do you really think that will be the end of your fears? 'If it lasts forever hope I'm the first to die'

Simple... and yet so difficult to understand...


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