Monday, October 23, 2006

Redd Kross does PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey's first album, Dry opens with the stark, masochistic "Oh My Lover" in which the subject of the song abjectly begs her lover to stay with her even though he(?) loves another woman. ("Oh my lover, don't you know it's alright / You can love her, and you can love me at the same time.") It is one of the most unsettling opening tracks on a first album I can think of, and was an introduction to a major talent with a uniquely bleak approach to songwriting. Here Redd Kross transform the song into a sleazier version of David Crosby's "Triad."* Classy.

This is actually a fascinating study in how different a song can become merely by switching the gender of the singer. The sound changes little from the original and the tone of desperation remains, but that just makes it sound like Jeff McDonald, really, really wants to have that three-way. With what should be a meaningless change, the song’s connotations shift radically. This appeared on the b-side a 10" single of "The Lady In the Front Row."

*I think "Triad" is one of the worst songs ever written, ranking only slightly above "Brother Louie" by Stories. The Byrds were right to kick David Crosby's hippy ass out of the Byrds for writing such garbage.

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