Songs Of The Day - 27-31 Dec 2008: Year-End Quintet


Mar 4 2009, 7h35

The year's end is when I tend to reflect on both hopes for the coming year and all those years and people that have gone before, and this little mini-playlist reflects that.

27 Dec: David Gilmour / Near the End / About Face (10) / Mar 1984
Way, way overdue in picking this "middle" solo album of David's up, finally getting around to it this year. I actually like a fair bit of this album, even though some of it sounds appallingly 80s.
"Some things never change, no don't ever change /
And I'm feeling the cold /
Thinking that we're getting older and wiser /
When we're just getting old"

28 Dec: Amon Amarth / No Fear for the Setting Sun / Twilight of the Thunder God (7) / Sep 2008
Another remnant from new albums in 2008, but not because it's an afterthought! Just haven't gotten to highlighting it yet. Some longtime Amon Amarth fans think they've come a bit too far from their early work, becoming a bit too, ah, "accessible" to the mainstream. Come on! Maybe I'm too much of a neophyte and too easily impressed by the pagan & Viking metal genres, but they've failed to please me with a single album of theirs. I think this one just continues the string of good work they've released. It's not too far removed from the origin to my ears. If you compare this selection with, say, Ride For Vengeance, they don't sound all that different other than maybe Johan Hegg's vocals are now somewhat more understandable. But I don't have a problem with either, and if he's a bit easier to understand now, I don't think that's so bad. These guys have earned their stripes after all these years and should have some "mainstream" recognition and success.

29 Dec: Uli Jon Roth / Tanz In Die Dämmerung / Under a Dark Sky (10) / Sep 2008
Admittedly, I only bothered to check this out because Uli Jon Roth formed a key component of my favorite era of Scorpions. I wasn't expecting the same thing, knowing and having read about his current, more complex works. But that only intrigued me more.

If you go into this album wanting the former and being unable to accept anything too different, you will undoubtedly be disappointed. Under a Dark Sky has very little in common with his Scorpions work and definitely is progressive rock in its full classicly-influenced element, more along the lines of ELP than something rawking like Pink Floyd. If you go into it with a, uh, progressive, open-minded attitude, you'll be rewarded with one of the most grandiose listening experiences of 2008. This selection ("dance in the twilight") is the 19-minute closing suite. Who's that familiar voice on vocals? Yeah, that's Mark Boals, who did a few albums with Yngwie. This is probably the best selection to listen to if you want to hear some of that 70s UJR sound.

30 Dec: Trans-Siberian Orchestra / Find Our Way Home / The Christmas Attic (10) / Sep 1998
Between Christmas and New Year's we finally saw TSO live (see separate show review), which should be required for all rock fans in Cleveland, their adopted second home.
"For we all seem to give our lives away /
Searching for things that we think we must own /
Until on this evening /
When the year is leaving /
We all try to find our way home"

31 Dec: Enya / My! My! Time Flies! / And Winter Came (11) / Nov 2008
New Year's Eve. A time for partying and celebrating...what exactly? One day to the next, which happens roughly every 24 hours anyway? One year to the next? Or just the conclusion of the previous year and a hope that the next will be better? That's more it for me, combined with one last look back over the year concluded.

So why did I choose a song by such a New Age poster artist like Enya to close out such a difficult year, rather than something metal, or at least more rocking out or party attitude? (A nice bit of electric guitar, though, from Pat Farrell, who also played in Clannad around the same time that Enya was with them.) I guess the music and lyrics just seemed to fit my reflective mood. Plus, I like the fact that she finds The Beatles to be a touchstone, and they were also a touchstone for me this year as the center of probably the most satisfying bit of journaling.

"My! My! Time Flies! Four guys across Abbey Road /
One forgot to wear shoes...

My! My! Time flies! A new day is on its way /
So let's let yesterday go /
Could be we step out again /
Could be tomorrow but then /
Could be 2010"

2008 proved to be an uneven and not-totally-satisfying year here in terms of output for the Song of the Day Journal, particularly at the end, but we did make quite a number of good friends and found some really great music, and that's what I liked best about it here.

\m/ (ò_ó) \m/
Envios aceitos
Progressive Rock


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