Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Month Of Sundays

I had to dig out the original CD copy of Remote Luxury to get in to the mood of the album. Many times the cover art of the album gives some kind of idea what kind of album it is, although with The Church many of the covers are very slightly if at all connected to the music. The closest neighbours of Remote Luxury, Seance and Heyday, give some kind of idea what´s inside the sleeve. Those are really strong visual statements and the message is carried to the music as well. Seance is an album of high crazy contrasts and bright pink (or blue) and Heyday is a warm, tapestry of irresistible happy times. Remote Luxury however doesn´t deliver much visual enjoyment as the image of the androgynous girl in the forest holding dry flowers doesn´t say much. It´s one of the weakest covers in the 80´s of the band. Somehow the visual feel of the album is captured better by the back cover. Plain aqua field and band members in a purple hued boxes. SK looks like a blonde and Ploogy like a girl. Only Marty and PK look like they mean it. There is something directionless in the packaging and it tells a lot about the content too. Many of the songs here are not their best moments and it doesn´t deliver a strong sense of presence.

Being directionless is not a problem A Month Of Sundays as it is the best song of the album. It has a strong presence and it´s a true revelation from start to beginning. The guitars are like the tidal waves splashing to the shore of a big ocean. Endlessly caressing the stones on the beach and perfecting their round forms little by little. I see the oceanic aqua-tinted hues of the back cover in this song more than the thers. The lone guitar jangles in a sad melancholic way like mandolin bleached in the sun and saltwater. Slowly it builds to jubilant chamber pop heights that could match the sparkle of Water Music by Handel. If you don´t know what it is then I can only say that it´s one of the biggest triumphs of excess the classic music has given to the world. Still there is a layer of wind by the ocean and distant whales on top of the whole thing.

This is one of the first songs to give direction to the future of the band 15-20 years later. The future where they will merge many styles, other than the guitar rock they started from, in a sublime way and always sound like themselves and no other. It´s quite fitting that the band plays this song on the tour of the new album Untitled #23 as this song has so much common with the new songs and their atmospheres. With some stretch of imagination I could see it somewhere in the song cycle of Untitled #23. 25 years later this is still fresh stuff.

A title like A Month Of Sundays has many meanings too and it can be seen in many ways. It can be just a month without much to do but it also means a very long time or dreary boring time ( I checked this out as I knew it was bound to be some kind of saying) . It can also be a directionless period where you don´t know what´s going to happen or something is not going to happen. To me it feels like a summer time on the beach and the feeling that it never ends. A time away from the usual routines of every day life. What it feels like when there is nothing exact to do but also the agony that comes from the knowledge that you can do everything. The freedom to choose anything that you want to do but you really don´t know what it is that you want. Being there in the start of adult life in the last summers before entering the real world with it´s obligations. Realizing that there is nobody else to make your future but yourself. The indifference of other people gives you a fright. You just have to figure it out yourself and there isn´t a readymade script to the story of your life.

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