Curated Lyric Extracts, The First

The inaugural Curated Lyric Extract is from Brendan Benson’s, “What I’m Looking For” on his third solo album “The Alternative to Love” (V2 2005).

For some people it’s an easy choice
But for me there’s a devil and an angel’s voice
I used to be involved and I felt like a king
Now I’ve lost it all and I don’t feel a thing
I may never grow old, I may never give in
I visit hell on a daily basis
I see the sadness in all your faces
And I act like a child and I’m insecure
And I’m filled with doubt and I’m immature
Sometimes it creeps up on me
And before I know it I’m lost at sea
But no matter how far I row
I ….

I what? I leave that to you, Dear Reader. Benson’s first two albums are my favorites, feeling the most consistent to me, but they all contain gems from this ever-underrated singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist. I suggest you track them down — well, on a streaming service I suppose; but if you’re converted, you’ll want a tangible format.

Ironically (given the rest of the lyrics), my now-ex-spouse first exposed me to B. Benson, via this song, and, appropriately, she became a (short-term) fan and I, a (long-term) fan. I should’ve listened to it as an indirect warning.

But that’s merely personal.

Then again, the songs that speak to us the deepest do so for personal — okay, sometimes universal — reasons. And this song still stands solid over a decade later on its own three feet: writing, melody, and execution. (These three “feet” aren’t songs’ only feet, of course. Oh, look what I’ve now done. Precedent set. I’ll have to identify on which feet each song still stands, if it indeed does, in future Curated Lyric Extracts.)

Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong. Clarification: I’m right. (Apologies to Dennis Miller. I’m paying homage, Mr. Miller! Particularly for your superlative mid-90's HBO rant/talk show/news comedy series. That was that era’s television highlight of the week , for myself and my freshly-colleged peers at least— unimpeachable rants and impeccably chosen guests [and dual guests, like Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez, after “From Dusk Till Dawn” had been released and was making film industry waves with either/or its numbers and/or its screen longevity, perhaps both — not to mention the surreally abrupt genre-shift about halfway in. How abrupt, if you don’t know? Well, a college friend, and groomsman of mine, with whom I still hung out for years after our graduation before he escaped to Seattle to begin a longterm Microsoft career, working on Windows, etc. … anyhow, his jaw literally fell open when the fangs came out. Stayed open for more minutes than you ever expect anyone to just leave their jaw hanging in shock. Turns out that, going in, he had absolutely no idea that “From Dusk Till Dawn” wasn’t “just” another distinctly-Tarantino-dialogued crime feature!] Back to Miller: I’m not merely kissing ass. And I did add my own twist. In any case, this disclaimer goes for the end of future Curated Lyric Extracts as well. Furthermore, I promise less parenthetical tangents. Generally. Please kindly note that I did not say “none”.)

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