Saturday, December 03, 2005

"Find the Cost of Freedom"

Sometimes it's good to strip away the layers of production that go into the making of a song and see what lies beneath - what the components are. Take away the echo, the EQ, the strings, the various washy keyboards that make sure you're not listening to anything like dead air, and what do you have left?
Voices. Maybe a guitar or two as well, to add some counterpoint. But really, there doesn't have to be a lot more.
Here, for example, we have a two-minute song, the first of which is a delicate, intricate dance between two acoustic guitars, two hands picking their way across a bed of thorny roses, the melodies winding in and out of each other.
The second minute is a quite fantastic piece of harmony singing by three guys who probably define close-harmony singing. David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash bring three separate instruments together, lay them one next to the other and create an other-worldly blanket of comfort and strength such that all that you're left with after their voices fade is an aching, echoing silence.
"Find the cost of freedom/Buried in the ground/Mother Earth will swallow you/Lay your body down."
This is the song to play at the end of along day, your personal valediction to the trials and tribulations of the last 24 hours, your shrugging off of the cloak of care.

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