3:00 AM is a beautiful time. It's the moment the unexpected catharsis hits
you, or it's the hour when the questioning becomes so intense that you
wonder about every one of life's complexities. They say great art must come
from suffering, and since the only people still up at 3:00 AM are the sufferers, a twilight hours compilation was inevitable.
Thus comes Driving In The Rain: 3 AM Songs To Get Lost With
. Having lofty
expectations to fill (i.e. my expectations) because that time of morning is
so important, I can only say that I am somewhat disappointed with this
compilation. However, I must clarify that it's not the music itself I'm
disappointed with, but the overall feel and mood of the track selection.
Anyone who's ever experienced the early morning (whether it be in the
throes of insomnia, or the grip of diffused apprehension), knows that
upbeat, hope-inducing songs are not what it's about. It's about
despondence, detachment and getting lost, something this compilation does
not even come close to doing.
Take, for example, Kimberley Rew's "Restless Ocean", or the opening cut,
"Opiate" by the Orchid Highway - both are fine pieces of college pop,
obviously inspired by the Smiths, old Blue Rodeo, and the cabaret stylings
of Rufus Wainwright. And both are tracks I'd probably enjoy more so at
around midnight, while still jovial and in good spirits (with good spirits
in hand, of course). But the drive home from downtown at 3:00 AM is a
different experience, folks, and these tracks simply do not fulfill the goal
of this record. While it's unfair to simply pinpoint two songs to
criticize, they are symptomatic of the whole album's miscalculation.
Let's put it this way: my 3:00 AM compilations (many of which I made long
before I had even heard of this record, incidentally) involve the likes of
Chroma Key, the Cure, Joy Division, Kid Loco, Pink Floyd and Massive
Attack. Nowhere in that mish-mash of musical styles, subgenres and decades
is there any trace of anything uplifting. And, given the mandate so
prominently displayed in its title, there shouldn't be said uplift on Songs
To Get Lost With
RECOMMENDED TRACKS: "Celtic Cross" (BB Gabor), "A Darkened Stretch"
(Jeffrey Morgan with Dean Motter)
- David Perri, CHRW Radio, London, ON
By David Perri
Jul 4, 2002