25 April 2014

Warren Zevon: "The Wind" (2003): 'Fending Off Death Naturally Through the Transition from Immortality'

Warren Zevon's last record was released two weeks before he died. The CD arrived in yesterday's mail.  I give this masterpiece five stars with a bullet. Nonetheless, greater minds than mine have evaluated this record. Robert Christgau has been the quintessential rock 'n' roll critict, to my mind, since I first discovered him in 1972 and way before that. Here's Christgua on Zevon's The Wind:
The Wind (Artemis, 2003) Naturally he fends off death-the-fact the way he fended off death-the-theme -- with black humor. "I'm looking for a woman with low self-esteem" is how he sums up the succor he craves, and he finishes off a painful "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" with impatient cries of "Open up, open up, open up." But "El Amor de Mi Vida," "She's Too Good for Me," "Please Stay," and "Keep Me in Your Heart" mean what their titles say. Only by hearing them can you grasp their tenderness, or understand that the absolute Spanish one seems to be for the wife he left behind, or muse that while the finale addresses his current succor provider, it also reaches out to the rest of us. Everyone who says this isn't a sentimental record is right. But it admits sentiment, hold the hygiene, and suggests that he knows more about love dying than he did when he was immortal. A-
 That's an A+ analysis, but, in my humble opinion, I disagree on Christgua's rating. This essential "facing death" record gets an A.

Disorder in the House (w/ Bruce Springsteen)

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