The songs of
Music is one of the most powerful
qualities of the universe. It has the power to motivate people across time,
just like any of the arts. It transcend the ages and is only forgotten by those
who forget. It is limitless. It can inspire people and forge ideas across
This past year, I had recently started
listening to an artist who I had not played in quite some time. I was online
and I heard a new track from Ray LaMontagne. I was like “I love his
music” and clicked urgently. I listened and I was taken away with rock
guitar, a smooth beat and his soothing breathy vocals. I was sold. I waited
restlessly, like a child on Christmas eve waits for gifts, for his album to
come out. The following article is a personal review of his album and the
effect it had on me.
His newest album,
“Ouroboros,” is to me a powerful album in both content and in name. A
little history lesson now, Ouroboros is by definition
“an ancient mythical serpent used to symbolizeperpetuity.”
It is akin to the idea of a phoenix, in the sense that a being is in a cycle of
life and rebirth. A never ending cycle. In a sense so much of our universe
models this theory. Even in our lifetimes, we go through “phases” or
“times” and we remark about them and say “oh that felt like
another time.” In a sense it was though, it was. Everyday is unique and
will never repeat. As far as we know it is never ending; moving over and over,
going on to a new day.
This album explores this idea, subtly
remarking about what is this life we are living and what does it mean? Where
are we going? What does our past mean? The very first track, Homecoming,
[I don’ t recall all the
“why” or the “where” or “who was there.]
At the end of the day it does not
matter what you do. It does not matter who you are. What matters is how you
feel and how you make others feel. The number one goal is for you to be content
with yourself. Getting back to the point of last week’s article was, to love
yourself first! That is most important.
[Anything you want your life to
mean it can mean
This life is full of give and take (hey, no pressure)
Be careful of each step you take (hey, no pressure)
It doesn’t matter lose or win (hey, no pressure, hey, no pressure)
It’s all an illusion in the end (hey, no pressure, hey, no pressure)]
"No Pressure,” the song that
grabbed my attention that night, to me is this idea of a never ending cycle.
The song has killer guitar playing, and just the perfect vibes of folk and
classic rock. It also hits on some of the most common existential questions we
all ask ourselves. Is life just an illusion? What does it matter where you’ve
been? What is winning and what is losing? The voice in the head saying no
pressure is the sense of doubt we all carry about ourselves and what we do. It
is so easy to be your worse critic and create a sense of negativity and
pressures that are all in your head.
“While It Still
Beats" is such a heavy song (In a good way). Again, the
instrumentation and the arrangements are spot on. The message that I hear is,
"let’s take a step back from the cynical world and works of society and
just let me face what I want to face.” Maybe that is completely wrong, who
knows. Songs are meant to be interpreted by the individual. Anyway, the
ethereal chorus outro is incredible and will be stuck in your head for sure.
“In My Own Way,” is my
favorite song on the album. The sweeping piano glissando and vibey melody have
this song set on repeat for me. I love how chill it is and then the guitar
riffs are the icing on the cake.
[All the plans, That were made
Let them die! Let them fade…
I’ll spend the day, In my own way…]
This song perpetuating the idea of the
self and individuality to me. One has to let go of the old plans and ideas and
just do you. Again, this is just my opinion and I don’t want to analyze too
much of this song because I don’t want to ruin the individual experience. Music
is all about the experience of emotions and those are meant to be personal.
The last song, “Wouldn’t It Make A
Lovely Photograph,” is in essence, the most powerful song on the album and
serves its purpose as the final chapter. I would even go so far as to call it
the epilogue of a classic novel . (Please note that I mean this in the highest
most positive regard.) The last song of an album will usually wrap up the story
and but this track does so in the most poetic way.
[Never gonna hear this song on
But wouldn’t it make a lovely
song hits home for me and leaves me thinking about so much. I think about my life
as a musician and where I am headed with all of it. I think about my friends,
my family, and my future. I think about all the photos I have taken of the sky,
or the girl I want to ask out. It leaves me feeling complete in a sense of
nostalgia but harmonically along side the melody, I feel like I’m left hanging
with some of my questions unanswered. It is that reason why I love this album.
One can not answer all of life’s questions. (Remember my article about existential questions) One has to be comfortable
with the past, present and future. This album is a sonic journey exploring all
these facets of time in an unending cycle.