Tag Archives: The Universe Alone

Paper Gods – Which Is Your Favorite?

As I continue to kind of sort out my final thoughts on all things Paper Gods, I’ve been thinking about the album itself.  This album took a while to grow on me.  Amanda and I spoke about it on the way home from San Francisco, and she surmised that this was a ‘thinking person’s’ album.

I think she’s right about that. In my case, it wasn’t an album that reached out and grabbed me, but instead it kind of sat bubbling in my head, percolating away. For what seemed like months, I’d listen to the album on repeat in the car, and then I’d put it away for a bit. Then I’d pull it back out, and listen to it again on repeat. I would think about the lyrics, the meaning, the possible story, and the music itself.

There were a few things about the album that just didn’t sit well with me. I struggled with the idea that Dom was barely on it, for instance. Yeah, I’m loyal. I know he’s not an “official band member”.  Whatever. He’s been with them for so long, it sure feels like he’s official. It bugged me. I wasn’t totally in love with the feel of the album at first, either. It felt very electronic in parts, and oddly un-Duran Duran like in others. I kept listening. I did not want a repeat of Red Carpet Massacre – an album that I never really enjoyed – so I kept at it, trying to bond.

Somewhere along the line, I must have done just that. The songs no longer sound foreign to me. They no longer feel too electronic, or not DD “enough”.  I don’t even think about who played or wrote what song. They feel just right. Even so, I have favorite songs on every single Duran Duran album. I think we all must have tunes we enjoy more than others, and this one is no different. I also think that looking back on this tour has kind of given new meaning to at least a few of the songs I once struggled with.

When I think of Paper Gods though, a few songs come to mind: Pressure Off, Last Night in the City, and What are the Chances. I am certain this is because the band played all of them on tour, and so they come to mind easily. I also think about The Universe Alone, Planet Roaring, and Cinderella Ride. It’s kind of hard to pick a favorite from that list, but in the end it is purely sentiment that drives me.

While I know he didn’t write it, there’s no arguing that Dom owns the guitar solo in What are the Chances when he plays it live. He took something that wasn’t really his and made it so, and the album version is every bit as beautiful, of course. I feel just a teensy bit guilty that I had to remind myself on the way home from San Francisco that John Frusciante actually wrote the guitar part – I’d gotten so used to Dom doing it that I’d forgotten.  I’m not normally a ballad person, but on this album it’s the two ballads (What are the Chances and Cinderella Ride) that I love hearing most when I’m at home.  The words for both ring very close to home for me in completely different ways – which is something I can say for 99% of the album. The lyrics really hit me.

There is a lot to like on this album, and since it’s release, I’ve fallen in love with much of it. It may not have been an album that knocked me over upon first listen, but it is definitely one that made me think, reconsider, and ultimately embrace. It’s been a great ride.

-R

It’s Beautiful, The Dying Sun

Hi everyone. I’m sorry I missed blogging yesterday.  My family said a difficult goodbye to my mom’s partner yesterday.  The process reopened wounds that had hardly closed for my entire family.  On the same token, seeing the love that my mom has for her friend was beautiful. It reminded me to take stock of what is really important.  Lyrics from “The Universe Alone” kept springing to mind throughout the day. They still do.

It seems like it was only a short time ago that I found myself thinking “Day One (without my Dad)”, as I pressed the buttons on our house phone to call my mom.  I needed to hear her voice in order to know she was OK.  Today I hesitated to make that call.  I know she’s fine, and I realize she really needs a little privacy to just be.  It wasn’t long before I saw an unsolicited email from her, confirming that yes – she’s fine, and she’s handling the loose ends (of which there are plenty).  This is simply a new beginning. None of us were eager to begin this new start, but somehow we’ve found ourselves doing just that.

That seems to be an ongoing theme for me lately. Finishing our book brought me to some sort of weird crossroad.  It’s going to take me some time to figure it all out.  At the very least, I’m coming to terms with the idea that it’s OK to start anew.  Writing my story closed the door on my past chapters of fandom, and I’m ready to see what is next. It’s probably not going to be the same as it once was, and that’s OK.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing friends I don’t have the opportunity to see often.  For me, THAT is what gives the trip it’s energy. Seeing Duran Duran is a bonus, but the friendships fuel me, and right now —I need all the love and energy I can get.  And, let’s face it, once I’m in front of Simon, John, Roger, Nick and of course…Dom, I think I’m going to be OK.  🙂  I need my favorite people and my favorite music for a little while. The timing couldn’t really be any better for a new beginning.

-R