Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙇𝙞𝙡𝙮 𝙁𝙡𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧 - 𝙍𝙞𝙘𝙝 𝘼𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙣
Charles errs on the side of c̶a̶u̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ daring for 101…
Books. Remember them? Ya know: paper and that. Woyds an’ ting. I’m sure you’ve at least SEEN them. Garish on the outside, hollow on the inside. That is, until you start reading. Then that loud cover becomes sterile and plastic as the words come together to form a brave new world of yours. I am not however going to talk about Aldous Huxley, but someone of a similar ilk. I am going to speak about the most chilling and horrifyingly astounding book I have ever read. And I guarantee you have heard of it. It goes by the name of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The year I was born, but written many moons before said year, in 1949 (the year my mother was born). I am a squeamish person when it comes to film, but rarely with the written word. This book was one HUGE exception. I won’t go into the theme, as you already know it (damned well SHOULD know it anyway). However, there is a scene that takes place in the Ministry of Love (oh, the irony). Following my 100th review, what better time to mention Room 101 - some of you might be quite familiar with its meaning these days. It is a torture chamber for those who have “done wrong”. Or at least what is considered wrong by the “Party”… A place of your personal worst nightmares. Think Nazism meets extreme communism meets sadism - not a nice place, basically. They decide what is right and what is wrong, and should you choose to disagree or go against any of that, you will pay severely. In reality, it would surely be your duty to escape from a prison camp, no? You would see it as the only option, but THEY would see it as “against the rules”, and so must be punished should you even attempt such a thing.
This was George Orwell’s image of how the world could be in 1984. Thankfully, he was wrong - for the most part. But nearly forty years on, there are many signs of the book in modern society, like the idea of Big Brother watching your every move… Lord knows what they REALLY know about us. A chilling thought, no? We are also more connected these days and subconsciously told what to think and even HOW to think. They steer us towards certain things and away from others, but all without us really realising. Why, ten or twenty years ago we probably would have laughed at what we think these days. This is called manipulation - sometimes subtle, sometimes very much not. Occasionally we can see through it, but usually we are completely unaware. Feeling uncomfortable yet…?
So. The right and the wrong. Should we, shouldn’t we? Hard to say! The darker side can be alluring, but is it actually that dark? Is there anything wrong with what we have done or are considering doing? We don’t get to choose. Society and the “Party” chooses. It all comes down to interpretation and feeling. If the feeling is strong enough, maybe you should just do it. Nike. But what if… Ah, to hell with What if! Let’s press play.
Much like these words above, a song’s mood can be ambiguous. Saying one thing and hinting another. In Rich Allen’s latest single, Lily Flower, he oozes wrongdoing with spats on! The centre crease of each trouser leg is completed with a turn-up (cuff) for weight, as he sways at the knee to the slow beat. Shoulders high, the fedora tilted so only one tight cheekbone catches the light. His equally well-dressed band members surround him like his own adoring mafia. Slinky is the name of the game. His floosies know how to use their feather boas, just like they know how to flutter their fake eyelashes. Rich is urging us to go against the system - it’s certainly tempting. Seemingly limitless alcohol flows through the streets of prohibition. It’s not just slinky, but raunchy and sexy! The horns politely and elegantly play tennis with the guitar and owgan. But it is only when the spotlight falls on the floosies in the chorus that you really feel overcome with the sense of having sold your soul, yet knowing it was worth it. Sheer ecstasy! This is REAL! I don’t feel like a stifled sheep any longer. My heart is radiant and cleansed. Reborn, even! But then, there’s the lyrics. Dem woyds.
One thing I love about lyrics is interpretation. Sometimes it’s obvious what a song is about. “All You Need Is Love”, for example, is obviously a song about three gay hippos. But sometimes it’s rather more vague and could have several meanings. I feel like Lily Flower could be one of those ambiguous ones. It could be about love. Or an attempt at love. Or even a resurrection of love. It could be about a fling. It could be about God. It could be about an affair. I personally opt for a fusion of all or most of these. The music itself can play a part in one’s lyrical analysis. For example, in this case the music is sexy and dark. In my mind it conjures the devil rather than Jesus. Which is altogether much more fun and interesting. But does this fit the love-filled words? Oddly, yes, it does. Something about the heat of a night’s passion, the devil leering over you with the wink of a dirty uncle. Whether this is the start of a beautiful lifelong romance, is irrelevant. It is about the here and now. Is there someone else involved with either of them? Are they, shall we say, otherwise connected? Is this feeling of the Gods an immoral one? Or is it as innocent as a couple of 20 year olds having fun? This is evidently not a love to last forever, but a brief distilled moment of perfection. A time when the future should not be dwelled upon or even pondered over. Much like how music should take over one’s soul, not be simply on in the background to mask dull thoughts. So when both music and lyrics of this calibre are smooshed together like this, I am thudded by an involuntary shudder of euphoria - my very own brief distilled moment of perfection, be it right or wrong. Because at this moment, who cares about morals? When God is offering a disc of bread but the Devil lays on a mighty golden feast, which are we to choose…? Morals go to the wind, and that feast is ours.
It is only afterwards that you start to wonder if you maybe shouldn’t have done what you just did. The guilt kicks in. The overthinking… But the deed is done. It is too late. Yes, yes, you can do the “remorse” thing, lying to yourself like an over-the-top Shakespearean actor. You can try to tell yourself it was bad and immoral of you, and you can make sure it never happens again, but you will always live with that secretly wonderful feeling of doing what you shouldn’t have been doing. “You know what children are like” - Yup! Little bleeders up to no good. And so what? They enjoyed their cheeky childhood. The time has passed. No one was harmed. Live a little!!
Sometimes it’s worth going to Hell for those moments of irrepressible lust. I am not however suggesting you go on a stupendous crime spree, and start murdering those who repeatedly irritate you. But for those truly special times you cherish forever, it is maybe worth the consequence. We have all done bad things throughout the years, but do you really regret them all? Nope. Tell me honestly. My answer is no. I do not regret them all. And I certainly don’t regret co-producing and mixing Rich’s masterpiece, Lily Flower. But then again, this song AIN'T one of those bad thangs, no sir!
Luckily in this modern western society, you will not be subject to any form of torture should you do something wrong - unless of course, your ex gets a hold of you, or God forbid, your wife or husband…! In which case, armour should take the place of amour.
This review is for entertainment purposes only, and I will not be held responsible for your actions - you have been warned. Be good 😉
No person or animal was harmed in the making of this article.
CC, your friendly devil.
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