Thursday, 23 August 2007

I ♥ The City

First of all, sorry about recent sporadic posts. Working full time now does give me a lot less time but the plan/hope is to write at least one thing for somewhere every weekday, be it here, Delete As Appropriate or the Jukebox, so there shouldn't be gaps longer than a few days.

"I ♥ The City" occupies somwhat of a halfway house between sincerity and satire. Its bounding energy, punctuated by eager bursts of wailing harmonica, lends it the character of someone excitedly holding forth on a favourite subject, and it begins with (albeit sort of denied) boasts about the superiority of city dwellers. The chorus, though, is lyrically nothing but poking fun at the same:

'Many people like open space,
But give me a perfumed alleyway,
Give me crowds and give me buildings,
Give me rotting vegetation,
Give me concrete give me ceilings,
Give me overpopulation,
I love the city'

I can't think of that last line as sarcasm though. The earlier throwaway that 'You've got to love it anyway' is probably key - this really is love, but it's love out of obligation rather than any kind of thought process. You can see all of the city's faults but you love it because, well, it's home, and you can't imagine being anywhere else even when breathing in pollution or pinned to the wall of the tube by a mass of commuters. I hope, given the band's roots, that I'm not just projecting when I assume that we are both talking about London here, and even though I didn't grow up here I can still relate to the feeling a lot. Perhaps that's why the sometimes clunky lyrics and its being one of the weaker tracks on Luxembourg musically don't stop me from really enjoying the song.