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Tuesday, February 08, 2005 

The Floating World: She Will Only Bring You Happiness

Yeah, it's been too long. But now my boss has given me the last half hour of my shift to do whatever and fucking Maroon 5 are on the radio ("This Love" is ignorable, and "She Will Be Loved" has a certain loony glory, but "Sunday Morning" is my least favorite song of the year so far, although Lenny Kravitz's "Lady" is in the running), so I'll get this done now.

Way, way back when Mclusky announced they were breaking up I said I wanted to write about this one, and I did, but schoolwork intervened. But I just did another one-pager on Merleau-Ponty last night and don't have my texts here anyway, so what the hell. I don't feel bad for giving their last album such a hard time (I still feel the same way about it), but I guess I do regret not purchasing it (which I didn't for the most superficial of reasons; it didn't have a tracklisting on the packaging, which I hate). I don't think that would have made any sort of difference, but... I don't know. I've never bought anything of Mclusky's, Do Dallas was a promo from the Ontarion, and I feel bad about that. Never saw them live either, although apparantly Andy Falkous is going to be continuing to do stuff, so maybe I'll kind of get a chance.

And I'm really glad he is continuing on, because as much as I don't love The Difference Between Me And You Is I’m Not On Fire, the bits I did like were tremendously exciting. Especially "She Will Only Bring You Happiness", the video for which, I reiterate, you should check out (in "downloads", and the one for "To Hell With Good Intentions" is worthwhile as well). I can't express how exciting it was to hear Mclusky go for something (relatively) poppy and open-hearted and I dunno, oddly cinematic and succeed totally and still sound like Mclusky (and I don't just mean the closing round of "Our old singer is a sex criminal"). Of course, this was partly due to a mishearing on my part.

During the refrain, see, Falkous sings what I thought was "All the city was cold, cold" and then "She started wondering, where is the profit here?" Combined with the title I thought the song was about a guy who is basically a fuckup who finally winds up in a decent relationship; but of course on some subconscious level he's terrified of success and he fucks things up again, and well, "She started wondering, where is the profit here?"

There's only one problem: The line is actually "All the sea was coal, coal". Which I guess you could assume is metaphorical and really abstract, but feels to me just like the song is much more prosaic than I'd thought. And the more I listen to it, the more yeah it's about the city, not about the guy. And it's still a wonderful song, it's not as if I like it any less.

But I'll admit, whenever I hear "Note to self: Be erect by half-past ten" I start thinking about that imaginary couple. That's the song I'm hearing. And that's the direction I wonder if Falkous will follow up on. Great song, in either case.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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