May 11, 2008

The Midnight Organ Fight-Frightened Rabbit

Blood and sweat. Love and regret. So goes a Frightened Rabbit album. So goes this album, "The Midnight Organ Fight". Their second, after their excellent debut "...Sing The Greys", is full of glorious melodies, delectable hooks and poignant and direct lyrics. This album has a glowing heart and just oozes personality, intelligence and charm.

The strength and muscle of a good song is something I believe will last forever. Sure, there is room for all elements of sound, all designs of experimentation. But a good song, or preferably a great one, is one that we will always return to. We return for that feeling of a soaring heart and an enriched mind. Of feeling a connection. Frightened Rabbit connect. Connect with a direct strike to the heart. Their strength is writing deep and sustained rhythms with gorgeous melodies. Songs that feature some of the best jangling guitar and fierce drumming this side of Glasgow. This is never more evident then on the stirring opener "The Modern Leper", which is a definitive statement of pop greatness. But pop with a strong purpose and a melancholy air. For this song, like many Frightened Rabbit tunes, deals with pain and despair, a feeling of things lost. Which when sung in that thick Scottish brogue of Scott Hutchison carries a enormous load of import. It's not just the dialect which helps though, although that is a big part, but the longing his voice carries is just superb. Listen to "Good Arms vs. Bad Arms" to hear what I mean. This wonderful song also employs more muscular drumming and subtle guitar strumming. It's a potent mix. It reaches its peak on "Fast Blood" and "The Twist". "Fast Blood" is one of the most direct expositions written in pop form about the sexual act that I have ever heard. It's about losing all feeling in the arms of a loved one, written with a supreme tenderness and a stark emotional power. "The Twist" is a cry for love of such gorgeous texture it will surely sink your heart. The cry of "I need human heat" is a hard one to remain cold to. Although the themes on this album are not new, the lyrics are written with such feeling and raw power that they truly struck a chord with me. "Heads Roll Off" continues the strong feelings, a superb song of irresistible melody and strong conviction. My other favourite on the album would have to be "My Backwards Walk", an iridescent piece of music set to a story of ultimate sadness. "The Midnight Organ Fight" (think about it, its meaning will become evident) is a glorious concoction of melody and form. A blend of heart and anguish. It is sure to be one of my favourite albums of the year 2008.

Available for purchase from Fat Cat Records.
MP3: The Modern Leper-Frightened Rabbit

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