Song of the Day #1,992: ‘Just Like Him’ – Brandy Clark

brandy_clark_12_storiesBest Songs of 2013 – #4

The final female country singer on my countdown, Brandy Clark, put out one of the best albums of the year in any genre.

Her 12 Stories is an elegant, focused and resonant work that calls to mind Bonnie Raitt and Mary Chapin Carpenter but still feels wholly original.

Clark, who is gay, has written a batch of songs about women let down by men. She has made a career writing for others, and these 12 songs no doubt started as offerings for other singers. But 12 Stories is her Tapestry — a chance to step in front of the mic for a change. And she crushed it.

Album closer ‘Just Like Him’ hits me the hardest. It’s a spare ballad that starts off with just Clark’s vocals and an acoustic guitar but makes way for a gorgeous and lonely blend of harmonica, cello and piano. This is exquisite production work.

The protagonist is a woman who has fallen into a relationship with a man as disappointing and damaging as her father was to her mom, and she’s only just realized it. But like so many of the songs on 12 Stories, this one ends on a sad but hopeful note.

Beautiful stuff.

He was kinda like Superman
Show up save the day disappear and then
We wouldn’t hear from him till Christmas
He was always a whole lotta fun
Till he’d get one drink too drunk
A fight would start, he’d be breaking hearts and dishes

I used to say that I’d be damned
Before I’d ever fall in love with a man
Like the one mama wasted her youth on
When I wait up all night alone
I feel like I’m six years old again
You’re just like him

Daddy had the bluest eyes
They kept my mama hypnotized
Now I finally realize the reason
They say love’s like coming home
And I came from a broken one
So why am I surprised you’re always leaving

I used to say that I’d be damned
Before I’d ever fall in love with a man
Like the one mama wasted her youth on
When I wait up all night alone
I feel like I’m six years old again
You’re just like him

The promises all sound the same
Swear up and down you’re gonna change
But he never did and I’m not that little kid
That’s why I can’t do this again
You’re just like him

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,992: ‘Just Like Him’ – Brandy Clark

  1. Dana says:

    Well, this ain’t no “Wrecking Ball.” 😄

    This is beautiful. Feels particularly poignant having just seen “Saving Mr. Banks” portraying a much flawed but loved father.

  2. pegclifton says:

    Beautiful song

  3. Andrea Katz says:

    Haunting and so lovely…

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