Today it’s a cow, tomorrow it’s human
I really, really love the way James sings the “overjoyed, me and Stephen Hawking, we laugh” bit. It makes the song for me. He just has such a… humorously suave tone to his voice in that.
Richey’s anti-genetically mutated food tirade (at least that’s how I interpret it), at least until it goes into completely random directions outside the verses, is one of the more lighthearted songs on Journal for Plague Lovers. You can hear it from the very start – a fun and bouncy stop-and-go-again rocker, albeit with slightly different lyrics to the usual stuff of that fare. Not particularly brilliant, but puts you in a good mood. I don’t know if that was the intended idea but hey, it’s a nice example of how Journal is like the lighter-hearted cousin of The Holy Bible which is a cool angle. At first the song had a bit of a special purpose for me personally as it was the first song on the album I hadn’t heard before after two preview cuts and thus a ‘new look’ on what the album would contain, but that sort of thing fades away fast. The chorus is the real gem, as usual with the Journal songs. If only for just because how James sings it.
I’ve never liked that processed sound filtery effect that happens during the song’s final buildup at the end of the last chorus. I’m usually the sort of person who goes all ooh and aah over sound effects but that particular “all sound sucking into a vacuum and blasting itself out” one I’ve never been keen on. It’s slightly annoying.
Oh, but yeah, good stuff. Ends up being a bit underlooked between the push of the glorious guitar pop of Jackie Collins and the epic drama of Joke Sport but it works well with the rest of the album. I can see this becoming a bit of an underdog in the future, the sort of album track that the band stops playing live (like, uh, most of their discography) and fans all kinda think that it’s cool but it just doesn’t end up dividing enough opinions and meriting enough discussion to be mentionworthy when strong opinions fire at eachother on the battlefields of fan forums. Alternatively, it’s got an equally good chance of becoming a bigger mainstay in the live set because it’s been one of the songs the band’s been playing in one-off promo events.
The British Sea Power remix of this is an interesting case. Musically it’s fine, even really good at times – a fun little shuffle, and the little bleepy melody that replaces the main guitar riff is a cute one, but the remaining singing sounds a bit out of place; the rock vocals do not really match the happy-go-lucky, soft little hopping melody shuffle and sometimes they even sound completely out of time and rhythm, which wonks up the final result a bit. A curio, as most remixes are, but a curio worth hearing at least once.