Thursday, December 14, 2006
Here's yet another intoxicating review from Muchacha Motorista. Enjoy!
A Sip of Gregory Page's Love Made Me Drunk
CD review by Muchacha Motorista
You’re sitting at a little café in Paris, sipping some wine and smoking a cigarette, thinking about a far-away lover and, yeah, let’s say you’re wearing a beret. (It’s not lame because you’re in France. At least I’m not giving you a black-and-white striped shirt.) Are you picturing it? What’s the soundtrack to your Parisian afternoon? Maybe you can’t put your finger on what’s playing, but it’s probably something very much like a song from Gregory Page’s Love Made Me Drunk.
If you’re from San Diego, you may have seen Page perform (the stage at Lestat’s is named after him). Maybe you’ve heard one of his many albums (he has over a dozen). And maybe you’re already enamored with Love Made Me Drunk, his first commercially-backed album. If not, you’re about to get a tantalizing glimpse of a talent so enthralling you might as well just order the CD from Amazon.com right this second.
Inspired by his first trip to Paris--at the age of 33 years old to meet his father for the very first time--Love Made Me Drunk paints a vivid, syrupy picture of Paris with Page’s music and a lyrical portrait of the experience of love. Paris and love? Parfait.
The album opens with mournful strings in “Bon Voyage Mon Cheri,” to which is soon added a hopeful cadence. Page’s voice is smoky, sensitive, and his style and lyrics immediately transport the listener to the streets of Paris. Next up is the title track, “Love Made Me Drunk.” Fantastic title--this song is sadly hopeful, sadly fun, drunkenly fun. The narrator is waiting at home, wasting the hours and days drinking as he waits for a lover who probably isn’t coming back. But he just smiles, raises his glass--content to drink and wait until she appears at his door. These two tracks, plus “In Love With Love,” won me over immediately to this album.
“In Love With Love” asks a question most self-aware people ask when love just begins to form: “In my dreams we are together... Was it you that I fell for, or am I in love with love?” Is this deep feeling actually love? An infatuation? Or just the simple joy of feeling something, anything, so deeply? The music showcases a tango-like flair, and is reminiscent of the dance two people in an early-to-midterm relationship take part in--tentative, hopeful, and lusty.
Hope, as in life, isn’t constant throughout Love Made Me Drunk. The lyrics for “Broken Hearted Leg” pour out the desperation of the broken-hearted and lonely. “Sad is all I feel,” Page sings, and describes an emotional pain on par with (or worse than) a physical pain. The simple piano gives a ghostly sense of despair.
There’s really only one song that doesn’t shine as brightly as the rest of the album. “The Magic Carousel” begins with children’s playground noises as a “musical” accompaniment. Combined with the organ music, it certainly sounds like an old-fashioned merry-go-round...meaning...kind of annoying. It may be fun if you’re actually riding the thing, but it gets annoying to listen to for, say, anything longer than a few rotations. I much prefer “La Valse De Julia” and “La Valse De Virginie,” two songs that also carry a carnival/carousel tune, but in a more melodious, listenable form. You could waltz around the room to these ones.
“April in Paris” is the epitome of this album’s Parisian influence, a narrative of visiting Paris in the spring. He’s got a loaf of bread under his arm; love is in the air; he says hello to a girl and explains that he doesn’t “really parlez-vous francais so well.” He passes a carousel and a monkey who takes your coin and smiles. He declares, “love’s so easy to understand when I see an old couple holding hands.” This song is delightfully descriptive and idyllic, but with a rickety sound that makes you feel like you’re listening to it through an old 1930’s radio.
Now, if you want to come on down to San Diego, Gregory Page usually plays live at least once a month. But come on! Don’t wait until then to pick up this album! Anyone who has spent an afternoon at work staring out the window and dreaming of Paris or hoping for love...this is the soundtrack for those idle times. And if any guy is still reading this, this just may be the soundtrack for your next seduction. Dim the lights, pour the wine, and press play on Love Made Me Drunk.