NP: Rene Lopez – One Man's Year (2005)

Das erste wirkliche Solo-Album vom Ex-The Authority-Sänger Rene Lopez. Feinfühlige, direkte Poprock-Songs, die ein breites, aufgeschlossenes Publikum verdienen. Zu beziehen über den äußerst sympathischen Mailorder CD Baby. Und weil der Mensch von Lopez‘ neuem Plattenlabel nach meiner letzten CD-Baby-Bestellung nicht wissen konnte, dass ich „One Man’s Year“ längst besitze (dank des freundlichen Künstlers himself), schickte er mir eine Werbe-e-Mail mit einem „One Man’s Year“-Track-By-Track-Review, geschrieben vom Künstler selbst. Dieses wiederum ist so aufschlußreich und spannend, dass ich es meiner geneigten Leserschaft nicht vorenthalten möchte. Wer zu faul zum Aufweiterlesenklicken ist, sollte sich wenigstens die CD kaufen. Lohnt sich. Ansonsten: bitteschön!!! –>

Here’s a track by track, in Rene’s own words, on the new record:

Vacation
?Here I go again, using my imagination/ Wishing I were on vacation/ Wondering where I went wrong/ Are you still a friend?/ Can I call you late at night, when I?m feeling drunk and lonely/ It?s hard for me to take my time??

The reason why the album starts out with this song, a straight-up rock and roll song, is because it?s the beginning stage of me moving out, but I?m wishing I?m on a vacation from myself and my own bullshit, and from all the trouble I?ve caused. I found myself drinking too much during that time because I didn?t know where else to go, and it would be the easiest way of numbing the pain. It?s basically saying I?m not perfect, but if you could see the good side of me, maybe let me back in, at some point, when you?re ready. ?If there?s room in your heart, will you save a spot for me??

All The Stars
?Devil still has my tongue, but you still have my heart/ Lying beneath the sun, keeps me from freezing up??

At that time, I was drawn more to the dark side of life than more to the light side of life. And so I felt that even though I was heading in this direction, you still have my heart. And it sounds cheesy, but if I follow the stars, you?re always gonna be there, and I?m gonna follow them until I get back to you. That?s gonna be my map back into the light.

Under My Cloud
?Fill the void in my vacant heart/ Wipe my bloody face, turn the lights back on/ Lift the veil, let me see your face/ You are beautiful, so beautiful??

It?s just another freakin? love song isn?t it, in a way? Here I am, still living in the dark, but under this cloud, the sunshine comes through when you?re there, ?Under my cloud, everything grey has now turned blue.? It?s all there in the lyrics, in black and white, it?s hard for me to put it any other way.

Jeanine
?We met behind the gates, the jackets were too straight/ The water was poisoned, to make us feel sedate/ Now I sit alone, across the frozen lake/ Waiting for a call, praying you?ll escape??

I?m in a mental institution, falling in love with one of the patients. And we?re both a little crazy, but I am let out. And everyday I sit outside the hospital waiting for her to come out, but she?s never released. I understand her, and I love her craziness, and I understand her craziness, but everyone in the hospital doesn?t, they think she?s just off the wall, so they keep her there. I don?t know where it came from, I was probably drinking that night.

Into My World
?Give into what is real/ Glide your hands across and feel what we have become/ Time kneeled and bowed its head, stopped the world from moving fast/ Let us become one??

I think the record has kind of an aura to it. I?m saying, ?Come into my world, all you see is yours, love and hate my world, just don?t run away.? Because I?m never gonna be perfect, I?m never gonna be this knight in shining armor. So if you love me, love me for the bad things in me, and love me for the good. Take the good with the bad. I think that?s what a relationship is. You have to stick it through.

Shadows
?Praise God with a killer?s voice/ Your children will have no choice/ The stress is so dense/ The war makes no sense??

Well, this really has nothing to do with the relationship, but it has something to do with what was going on during my breakup, which was the war and President Bush. Basically I?m shouting at him, ?You?re nothing without your gun, you?re no one without your gun, your aim is not true, you?re not bullet-proof, you?ll fall.? I?m not a political songwriter, and I don?t believe that I could ever be a really good one, I?m just not that guy. But there was an inspiration there during that moment and it came out.

Only I Know
?On the L devils trade jokes/ Make me laugh before I go??

When I moved to Williamsburg, I was taking the L train back and forth. I just love being on a train and noticing all the different walks of life. You don?t get that anywhere else in the world, from really good people to really bad people, from the hipsters to the homeless, and every ethnic background. So I?m really observant, always just checking everything out, listening to everybody, what?s going on. The whole scene reminds me of the movie Jacob?s Ladder, when he?s stuck in the subway, but it?s really hell that he?s stuck in. So then I need to get out of there, to get back up. It?s my quest for finding peace of mind.

North And South
?I don?t want to feel desperate/ Need a cup of cool water/ Need to find our lost summer/ Baby, feeling like I?m disconnected from the world and my senses/ Now I?m free to fee love??

I wrote a bunch of songs that were about the same thing going on in my life during that year, this was just one of the ones I thought was a better song. It comes to the point during the year where there?s conversation going on between us again. I?m questioning whether I want to go back into that life again or not, whether I have it in me to go back, whether I can trust myself, whether I could be good enough to be in a relationship.

Dirty Roses
?I?ll be there to pick you up ? With a dozen dirty roses, a dozen dirty roses/ I gave you dirty roses, dug them up from the graveyard, to bury all their dreams??

The mental shit that was going on between us was really heavy, completely exhausting. But also it became liberating because there were so many lessons that we learned from it. So I guess the hospital is the place! When you?re released, I?ll be there, and hopefully if I?m released, you?ll be there for me too. We couldn?t get a real doo-wop group together to do this song, so we just had the Yeah Yeah Girls come in. But then there?s a little bit of a Prince element too, because we programmed the Linn drum sound, and I played drums on top of it.

Roosevelt Was Burning
?Roosevelt was burning that night/ And the world was so far away??

It?s just a glimpse of all the characters in my neighborhood I grew up in, on Roosevelt Street. Tommy Flanagan, he must?ve been twelve years old, he ran into a burning house and saved two kids. After that he was the hero of the neighborhood. And I used to love to box in the basketball courts, we?d make a boxing ring and I would challenge guys to box me, that?s why my nose is crooked. The stuff in the song, it?s all true. I was actually going out with a girl and she gave me up for Lent. Her mother said, ?you can?t have a boyfriend for a month?.

Walk Through Walls
?Saw a shooting star from the dark basement/ So you step outside to breathe in your life/ Cut away the bars from your gold prison/ Call away the guards watch you walk through walls/ Watch you walk through walls??

The girl who?s listening to the voices in her head. And I?m telling her I believe in her, I think she can do anything. And I believe in her so much, that I wanna be with her. Leona Naess sings background vocal.
(June 2005)

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