Friday 20 August 2010

This Perfect Dress

Track two of Life is Sweet sees McKee slow to a more stately but no less melodramatic pace as we get a lovely song about the joys of sewing.

Well. No. Clearly it’s not. It appears to be the tale of a woman making a dress from the skin of her dead lover. In this way McKee seems to be partly inspired by the classic movie/novel Silence of the Lambs.

Of course, this is only a guess on my part, the lyrics of This Perfect Dress being as resolutely opaque as those of most of Life is Sweet’s twelve offerings, and my guesses aren’t always to be relied upon. For years I was convinced Paul McCartney’s 1972 hit C Moon was a treatise on the fact that no matter how well we think we know someone the major part of them will always remain a mystery. This was based on the fact that a C-shaped moon is a crescent moon, the vast majority of its presence lying unseen.

As it turned out “C Moon” was simply McCartney’s shorthand for “cool”. This should serve as a warning that my stabs as to what this or any other songs on the album are about can never be more than open to question.

What isn’t in question is the hypnotic nature of This Perfect Dress, a song that rarely ventures far from its circular central melody whilst built on an endlessly repeating bassline that strongly mirrors the riff from the BeeGees’ hit Tragedy. Whether this “pilfering” was deliberate or not, I don’t know.

I like to think it is. Given This Perfect Dress’s stark and doom-laden feel, it’d certainly be an appropriate appropriation.

The track gives us McKee’s first guitar solo of the album and, while no one could label her guitar playing subtle, sophisticated, skillful or even inspired, its crudeness and uncompromising nature shows her sausage-fingered style to be perfect for an album that takes no prisoners.


Lucas Johnson said...

I'm enjoying your blog so far! I just figured out how to play "Carried", not being able to find chords/lyrics on the 'net, and am happy to find another fan of this album that I, too, love!
I didn't know she played the guitar solos on the album! Cool!

The Cryptic Critic said...

Thanks, Lucas. Glad to hear you're enjoying yourself.