Thursday, December 7, 2006

we gotta make a decision - leave tonight or live and die this way...



#19-Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman (1988)

I admit, I'm a little embarrassed about this choice. Feel free to mock me openly if you wish. I know TC is usually the fave of the female college sophomore Indigo Girl set, but here it is. I discovered this disc in high school when one of my parent's old college burned-out hippie friends (they had a lot of them) accidentally left it behind after a visit. I was moving out of my Christian anthem rock stage and discovering my mom's old Dylan and S & G records and this hit my sweet spot. If you only know Tracy Chapman from the ubiquitous single "Gimme One Reason to Stay Here" don't hold it against her. "Talkin' Bout a Revolution" is about the gutsiest first track on a debut record ever - not too many female guitar playing singer-songwriter types want to introduce themselves to the world by telling everyone that "poor people gonna rise up/and get their share/poor people gonna rise up/and take what's theirs" The sad desperation of "Fast Car" still gets me 15 years after my first listen. While "Why?" is melodramatic and idealistic, what folk musician has ever been accused of reasonable, solution-based suggestions for gradual change in social policy? The social songs are balanced by some more traditional fare exploring love and relationships that avoids becoming trite.

Okay, then, my first two albums have been both self-titled debuts. If you don't think Backstreet Boys, Backstreet Boys (1996) is next on my list, then I have to ask: Do you even know me?


You got a fast car
And we go cruising to entertain ourselves
You still ain't got a job
And I work in a market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You'll find work and I'll get promoted
We'll move out of the shelter
Buy a big house and live in the suburbs

3 comments:

Sugar Mama said...

Preach it girlfriend! I'm sure it does nothing for your case to get the first "amen" from a female, but I loved this album when it came out. This CD is coming out of the vault today.

daniel.brantley said...

what sugar said.

also, there isn't a doubt in my mind that backstreet is next on the list.

in other news, how do you put videos on here?

Big Cougar said...

Verily, it is a shame "Gimme one reason" represents the Chapman corpus, considering how terrible that song is. However, I certainly cannot knock a minority female singing about proletarian impoverishment. Way to strike one for LBJ's Great Society.