What I want from a song is for it to throw me into a physical reaction, but a good one. Not like I want to puke or something, but it’s all shivery and spot on perfect and you know for a fact there’s no way anything else would equal it right then and there, so you just have to skip back when it’s done, maybe even 3 or more times.
So I had a James phase for a while a few years ago. I have band-phases like 800 years after they’re everywhere and I miss all their mind boggling shows they did at some club that fits 13 people and limited edition of 1,000 numbered copies 2-part CD singles and all that. I always miss all that stuff. So this was well after Laid was an ‘underground sensation’ and 120 Minutes and the James lads in dresses and all that. I mean I’m listening to the Best of which, incidentally, breaks one of the “Rules,” but that’s a whole other thing—the Rules of Music Appreciation or Something. But the point is that I really, really loved this song “Sometimes” and I did the replay-replay-replay thing with it back then and all that. But like I said, it was a phase, and not that I stopped liking James at all, but I just put them back in the Hole-My Bloody Valentine shoebox in the cabinet with all my “catalog” CDs.
Now it’s however long later and “Sometimes” pops into my head all vaguely-like, but— I have to remember to grab that disc next time I’m home. So it’s Saturday, and I’m kind of getting hungry and I’m driving around trying to figure out what I want to eat and I remembered the CD, so I put it on and skip to track 13—"Sometimes"— and immediately I’m there again. I’m driving down Bloomfield Ave. and I’m really about in tears. I mean, I’m welled up— it’s not like my cheeks are all salty, but my eyes do feel big and squinty, which isn’t too safe for driving I guess, but there’s this certain synthy Eno hum and the way the flippy-sounding acoustic guitar and the other sounds fit so well and the way the words are, they’re perfect. The singer guy even does the talking/singing thing at some parts, and it doesn’t even sound bad. That’s how good the song is. It’s not like I’m feeling like a mega depresso-head at that moment or it’s even some bleak and desperate sad sack song. In fact, it’s actually a remarkably buoyant song when it comes down to it, but it just gets me so perfectly that I have no choice but to well up around my eyes and get all tingly on my arms and spine.