Starting with the haunting acoustic ‘Long Way Down (Look What the Cat Drug In)’ and weaving through a string of metaphor-rich songs about love and loss, Free-For-All is a more potent and mature album than March. It’s also better produced, boasting an organic quality that’s lacking on his more polished debut.
I also love Free-For-All because it’s one of those albums that teleports me to a specific time and place. It anchors me in the summer of 1992, the year I met my future wife. That was also the summer of REM’s Automatic For the People and I had that album and this one on opposite sides of a cassette tape that I played non-stop in my car for months. I can’t hear these songs without feeling like I’m in my maroon Toyota Corolla (as opposed to the black Toyota Corolla I own now) driving to my college classes, my movie theater job or to Denny’s for a late-night snack with Alex at my side.
There might be room for a future theme week all about those teleportation albums and songs. I can think of several off the top of my head, and the memories are all good ones. I’m curious to hear about the music that has that effect on my dear readers as well.
And I did not want my cover blown
Thought well enough was left alone
And who decided you’d rescue me?
Yeah, I do agree
A bent and broken set are we
Up in a tree we’re stuck
And the only lights off the wire
Are all the moths in the fire
Can’t you feel how the air is getting dry
Try, but can’t identify
What you start to think
My baby won’t come out at night
They took apart the Angel’s Flight
For this strange season
Did you feel it change from cold to hot
With fever, you will have a bout
And all you do is talk about
The meaning of the walkabout…
There I go again
A taste of my own medicine
So shake your head and look around
The leaves don’t fall
There’s still no sound
To this strange season
Then I start to think
I’ve seen it through
I saw the sights
They disassembled Angel’s Flight
With this strange season
Do you want to know that
It comes down to this?
Do you want to hear that
Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss