Thursday 14 February 2013, 14:26
I'm told it's Valentine's Day. Royal Mail must be arranging for a special, pink glittery forklift truck to bring me my annual sack of tear-stained Hallmarks and Obsession-drenched teddy bears.
The truth is, I'm somewhat heartbroken at this moment. I don't want a platitudinous card with a teddy bear on it, or a box of perfumed chocolates. If I walked into the bathroom and found scented candles arranged around the edge, I'd think that Satanists were about to drown me.
What I need right now is someone who can empathise, who isn't 40% proof and £2.50 a shot.
I need someone whose heart has been broken more times than Leonard Cohen has fingered a minor chord. Someone who can make the vacuum of loneliness seem fillable, if only with daydreams and melodies that'll massage my ventricles back into action.
I need Sweet Baboo.
Stephen - as he is known to family, no doubt - is one of the few contemporary songwriters unafraid to tie his heart to the railway line. The majority of other songwriters seem too aloof to impart real emotions: unless it's through an ironic spectrum. Or using sounds that could have been created on a ZX Spectrum. Perhaps toying with thoughts of the heart is a risk too far in these days of super skinny jeans.
I don't know. Love seems pretty important to me. Seems pretty important to Stephen, too. I get the (no doubt incorrect sense) that Stephen's heart is Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront. It could've been a contender. It keeps pigeons on the roof as a metaphor for the freedom it'll never quite attain because freedom is, you know, the last thing that it / he wants, really.
There's probably less dockland corruption in Stephen's heart.
Actually, it's a rubbish allusion.
I think that Stephen's heart is indefatigable. It's Sherpa Tensing aiming for Everest's peak without oxygen or synthetic fibres. Listen through his albums, it seems clear that here we have a man who will never give up on love, despite all of the injuries and sneaky wounds.
Of course, it probably helps that a broken heart makes for a better muse than a fully functioning one.
Similarly, I think that Muse would be exponentially better if they all had broken hearts, and not in the metaphorical sense.
That's a joke.
Let's Go Swimming Wild isn't Sweet Baboo's most obvious love song. It's probably more a song about freedom and empathy. Still, the notion of driving away, to a salty breeze, and plunging into wild waters, naked and free, hand in hand with some like-souled mind is almost as attractive right now as the swell of organ and brass that rolls this most beautiful of songs along.
It's Stax does Daniel Johnston. And it's every bit as blummin' ace as that suggests.
Worth loving, even.
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