Thursday, November 8, 2007

Duck Diving

During the We Love Life era, part of the point was for the band to get back to a more organic place, after the increasing production excesses of their major-label output thus far. It didn’t completely work out that way – We Love Life, while one of their warmer-sounding albums, still carries many hallmarks of the Big Rock sound. But one of the tracks the band toyed with live around this time, “Duck Diving” provides an intriguing side road the band could’ve explored. While Jarvis reads from a children’s story by Philippa Pearce (prefiguring the Jarvcasts), the band provides a softly repetitive electronic backing, with delicate synths to the fore. On We Love Life, Candida Doyle’s keyboards are pushed way back in the mix. This track suggests what the album might’ve sounded like had she been given a more prominent role, perhaps making the album a gentler version of His ‘n’ Hers and Different Class.

As for the story, it’s no surprise it would appeal to Jarvis. There are pinpointed details, and the narrator is a misfit child. Definitely of a piece with his usual lyrical concerns.

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