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Seth Davis - Life is Long
~ CD Review ~
Mar 18, 2016
There's something gritty and honest in Seth Davis's music. I listen and listen to this album and I keep hearing new things. His voice sounds like Leonard Cohen. And Bruce Springsteen. And Josiah Longo of the Slambovian Circus. And Neil Diamond. And of course, himself.
There's a lot of nice production touches on this album, such as the hot muted trumpet appealing to a subtle organ, bells and synthesizer on the song “Chandelier.” He sings “I'm under water and I should be learning how to swim.”
“Love Part 2” He sings, “Love is a verb/ it's something we do. /Sit there and watch./ It's dying on you./ It's more than just something you heard./ Don't sit it out./ Love is a verb./ Love is a drug /it change your mind/ it strike you dumb/ it leave you blind./ You turnin' tricks. /Steal like a thug./Come get your fix /Love is a drug.”
He continues with more comparisons: Love is a Bird, Love is a Key, Love is a Tool etc. Really great word play in the lyrics with a catchy tune. I love it.
“Green Rambler” is a sorrowful song about his brother and his car.
“Writing You Out of My Song” sounds like something that was written spontaneously with friends sitting around a fire with a cooler full of beer. The humorous declarations could go on forever, it has sort of a “Hey Jude” gene. I can imagine people making up verse after verse, late into the night. The whole thing is punctuated with lots of “Oh yeahs,” yells and “ows”, and what sounds like a child's toy piano plinking along.
“Bull dog, / blood eyes/ Midnight home fries/ Crash car cab rides/ I'm writing you out of my song./ Rye toast /calm down/ Juke box Motown/ Roof top talk down/ I'm writing you out of my song.”
I love “Hummingbird” too. Seth asks, how can they make a romantic connection if they never stop moving? This song is just lovely. I find it keeps playing in my head where ever I go. Here are some of the lyrics:
“Hummingbird a hovering there/right before my eyes/Motionless and so absurd/You never fall or rise/Unless you do/in which case you/Just dart away and then/I just assume you're making room/For when I come again//oh lord/I just assume you're making room/For when I come again.
Humming bird oh hummingbird/I wish that I could do/complex articulations/Be an artist such as you/I'd sculpt my sneezes/Into valentines just for my love/Deliver them on breezes/From my sweet nest up above/I would/Deliver them on breezes/to your sweet nest up above...I'd hum….”
“Won't Fall Down” sounds a bit like a Billy Joel anthem, lovely piano, drums and vocal support, but more – a song for his greedy friends who got in trouble with the FBI.
“Sheena” is for Dee Dee Ramone, his longtime friend. I love how it starts out, with kind of a lonely echo and footsteps in the city.
“Baby I'm Your Man” is a love song written with openness, honesty and commitment. The recipient of this beautiful declaration is a lucky woman.
This collection of songs is poignant and powerful, with wonderful touches of harmony, and produced with creative vision. I can sense that a lot of thought went into the finished product.
Seth wrote me a letter when he sent me the CD, and I quote:
“These songs deal especially with my commitment to balance and to being the best me. In the face of and in the wake of some extremely difficult circumstances, I've always sought to find light and purpose.”
To me this is the pinnacle motivation of songwriting and poetry, and really, all writing – to go inward and harvest the depths.
Seth observes that “Life is Long” but he masterfully conveys that along with being heartbreaking and lonely it is also joyful and beautiful. This is the work of a deep guy, I hope you take the time to give him a listen.
Photo by Amanda Christan Burran
Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.
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