Tag Archives: Moon

The Absurd Review – Kid Cudi -Man on the Moon II – The Legend of Mr. Rager

Kid Cudi’s sophomore effort, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager plays like a hip-hop version of In Utero – an artist gets big and decides that he doesn’t like what he’s seen.  Since the release of Man on the Moon last year, Cudi developed a coke habit, eventually getting arrested this past summer.

There is no boasting about how great Cudi’s life was a coke-head (even though much of the album sounds like a hip-hop version of Dark Side of the Moon, especially Marijuana which has a Gilmour-like solo throughout).  Cudi not only loves the darkness, he “wants to marry it.”  “It is my cloak.  It is my shield.  It is my cape,” He declares in “Maniac”  a haunting track featuring indie singer Saint Vincent.  Elsewhere, “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” sounds like it was recorded in a dark basement or underground.  If this is what Cudi meant by marrying the darkness, he found it in this song.  Unfortunately, what would have other-wise been an album highlight is marred by the use of Autotune.  “Marijuana”

“Erase Me” finds Cudi taking on arena rock – it’s even got a softer verse and loud chorus which proves that Cudi seems to have a a better understanding of a rock song than Lil Wayne.  Interestingly on the song where he actually does sing, he ditches the Autotune.  The only problem with the song, is the inclusion of the usually reliable Kanye West, who seems sapped of his energy and his muse on his verse.

Some reviews have stated that this album is over indulgent but the blend of spaced-out rock and hip-hop elevates Man on the Moon II above Cudi’s indulgences and self-loathing.  But the main flaw of the album isn’t Cudi using the album as catharsis, it’s that it doesn’t seem convincing. Cudi seems to like the darkness too much or is stoned too much to really break out and exorcise his demons.  If only his delivery matched the music and the lyrics, Man on the Moon II could be hip-hop’s version of In Utero or Plastic Ono Band. As it is though, it’s an impressive effort from an emerging artist.

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Fall Songs: “Moondance” – Van Morrison

This week’s theme might, as week might as well be moon, since yesterday I reflected upon Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”, and today I’m going to take a deeper look at Van Morrison’s “Moondance”.

A friend of mine commented on yesterday’s post that “Harvest Moon” was a classic; on it’s way to becoming a standard.  I don’t entirely disagree, but I feel that “Moondance” has already been a standard – and with the exception of “Brown Eyed Girl” – the song that is most associated with Van Morrison.

Morrison’s music has sometimes been described as “Celtic Soul” – and “Moodance” is probably the epitome of that description.  The music swings and sways like jazz.  Morrison croons, but the flute that plays underneath him gives the song a Celtic feel – linking the song musically with the lyrics.  There’s no other song like – and it’s almost like it doesn’t quite belong in this world.  And yet, just as Morrison takes his love to the forest “Neath the cover of the October skies” – it feels entirely familiar.

Like “Harvest Moon”, the lyrics of “Moondance” centers on autumn.  For Morrison, autumn is a magical time – “and all the night’s magic seems to whisper and hush”.  The “leaves on the trees are falling to the sounds of breezes that blow”.  If Neil Young was interested in taking his companion out into the countryside to get away from the world, Morrison is taking his love into another world.

At the beginning of the song, Morrison is full on romantic.  The drums and the piano slide in as Morrison hooks the listener in: “Well it’s a marvelous night for a Moondance, with the stars up above your eyes, fantabulous night for a romance.”   It would be hard to resist lines like that.  By the time Morrison arrives at the second chorus, his love has given into his romantic gestures.  Most of “Moondance” is romantic and full of sincerity, but when Morrison tells his love that she trembles every time he touches her, there’s almost a hint of sexual menace in the delivery.  But the listener has no time to consider, because after the chorus there’s an extended jam, and then Morrison goes on full scat at the end of the song before delivering the final “my love” as the music ends abruptly.

 

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Fall Songs: Harvest Moon – Neil Young

Due to popular demand (by that I mean 4 people) today I’m going to take a closer look at “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young.  What is it about this song that people become so attached to it?  I’ve known people who absolutely hate Neil Young, but absolutely love this song. 

If there was ever a song that captured the mood of Autumn, “Harvest Moon” would be high on the list.  The melody is gorgeous, and Young’s soulful vocals are wistful, laid-back, and sincere.  While I’m sure Neil Young spent a lot of time on the song, it sounds like it was made up on the back of a horse-drawn carriage through a pumpkin patch as the sun sets in mid-October.  Knees are over the side of the carriage, and a bottle of hard-cider is passed back and forth. 

Harvest Moon was released in October 1992 – very fitting for the mood of the album – but Young began recording the album a year earlier in September 1991.  Whether Young knew this or not, 1991 had the prestige of having a “Super Harvest Moon”.   A regular harvest moon occurs when the moon is full closes to the Autumnal Equinox.  A “Super Harvest Moon” occurs when the moon is full exactly on the night of the Autumnal Equinox.  2010 was also a “Super Harvest Moon” year – occuring on Septmber 23rd. 

For many, the appearance of a Harvest Moon clearly suggests the transition from summer into fall.  Sometimes, the moon can even appear red as a a Harvest Moon, much like the color the leaves will soon be turning.  Musically, “Harvest Moon” is gentle just the crisp autumn air.  But, it also catches the change that comes with a Harvest Moon and the Autumnal Equinox.  It’s unclear whether bad-blood has occurred between Young and the woman whom he is speaking to.  But one thing is clear – he’s letting it go.  “Just like children sleeping, we could dream this night away,” He suggests, and whisks her off to the country-side to the Harvest Moon. 

Once they flee to the country-side, Young is no longer the only person speaking.  “We know where the music’s playin’ let’s go out and feel the night”.   Clearly, his companion isn’t just coming with him – she’s a wiilling particpating at this point.  And would could a be a deal-maker, “Because I’m still in love with you” – Young delivers the line such affection.  The listener is left waiting for a response, but Young continues it up, “I want to see you dance again”.  It’s clear that he just wants his companion to be happy, and when he follows up with “I’m still in love with you, on this harvest moon” – you know that he would he happy, even if just for a moment, under the Harvest Moon everything was where it was supposed to be. 

 Neil Young – “Harvest Moon”:

Pearl Jam covering “Harvest Moon”:

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