Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bee Gees, "You'll Never See My Face Again"

I am in a funk. I am enjoying my students, but I am teaching three preps right and along with some added responsibilities and it is getting near the end of the term and I can feel my wick burning down to the nub. The state of the world hasn't helped all that much, either. Each day brings a new horror and I feel like I am living in some kind of insane funhouse. Last Friday night I sat in front of my computer late at night, the rest of my family asleep as I read about the CIA's knowledge that Russia had intentionally tried to swing the election to Trump. This of course came after Trump had made it known that he wanted to put generals in positions normally held by civilians. I am beginning to seriously think that our country as we know it is about to come to an end.

Well, I am not going to regale you with my theories on that count. No, I am going to talk about some comfort music, since we all need to be taking care of ourselves. I've let it be known that I love the Bee Gees' baroque pop of the 1960s, and I don't care who knows. I know it's about the least hip music around, but the melodies are beautiful and the themes melancholy, allowing me to wallow in my funk in a way that feels cozy rather than frightening. I often turn to this music in winter, when my seasonally-related drops in serotonin lead me to cling to musical comfort food for survival.

Odessa was the last of the Bee Gees' baroque pop albums of the 60s, one that almost broke up the band. (Robin actually left for a little bit after.) The orchestrations on it are much bigger and more lush than the preceding albums, and there is little rock and roll here. Amidst the bittersweet love songs on the album comes "You'll Never See My Face Again," a jaded kiss off with more than a hint of just straight out bitterness, no sweetness included. It has a great sound, an insistent, almost gritty acoustic guitar meshing with the atmospheric strings. I've heard this song is about Robin's intention of leaving the band, but I listen to it when I am so world-weary that I just want the world to piss off and leave me alone.

That's how I feel this week, at least. Maybe next week I can get back to fighting again.

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