When did time start accelerating?
I find Lifeblood to be an all-around perfect album but its lyrics contain a flew clunkers (although it’s much thanks to Wire’s writer’s block that was pouting a bit during the time), and one of those clunkers is found in Glasnost. The title, in fact: I just can’t get over the “glasnost” bit. The song’s got fantastic lyrics otherwise, a wonderful lament to lost years and ode for breaking personal barriers and finally being able to talk about one’s feelings: the whole ‘if we can still fall in love’ part probably referencing the band’s early “we’ll never write a love song” statements. Then the chorus clumsies up with the “make your own glasnost” bit. It doesn’t sound right. It sounds like using a fancy foreign word for the sake of it. I know what glasnost means and indeed, it works perfectly within the context of the song but still…
Musically it’s pretty much perfect though. Out of the three Lifeblood pre-release radio play tracks I had before getting the actual album, Glasnost impressed me the least but it was due to the shoddy radio quality. Like much of Lifeblood, sonical elements are a major part of the song and the shining production emphasises the divinely gorgeous melodies the song offers. That lead guitar line rings as beautifully as countless summer days. The sudden switch of pace in the chorus feels somewhat abrupt initially in the sense that it seems like a build-up without the climax, but it doesn’t need a climax. It’s a moment of clarity, the moment to stop for a while and just enjoy life. While the album’s usual melancholy is still present in the sense of observing time fleeting by, Glasnost sounds more calm contemplation rather than sadness. I suppose you could call it continuation of the theme from This Is Yesterday – moving from looking nostalgically back at youth to wondering about the passing of time itself.
That’s Glasnost in a nutshell. A song for life, in uphills and downhills. Time goes on but it’s never too late to change your ways.