Wednesday, January 27, 2010

16. Coke Machine Glow – Gordon Downie (2001)

Listening to the spoken-word and accordion of album-opener ‘Starpainters’ today, I can recognize that I wasn’t mature enough for Coke Machine Glow when I picked it up. Jesus, I was still listening to Incubus! How did Coke Machine Glow even happen? And yes, in my own way I’m praising myself for sticking by it because as the years have gone by, each of its songs have stood up for me in return. My teenage admiration for the electric riffs of ‘Canada Geese’ migrated into freshman-bound obsession with ‘Chancellor’’s careful instrumentation, which led to my tumultuous-twenties’ love for the dissonant squalls on ‘Vancouver Divorce’.

Covering everything from bare-boned country (‘Elaborate’), dreamy folk (‘Boy Bruised By Butterfly Chase’), semi-spoken-word brilliance (‘Insomniacs of the World, Good Night’), and polka-bluegrass (seriously... on ‘Yer Possessed’) in sixteen tracks, Coke Machine Glow is a loaded, transient solo debut from Gordon Downie that, for me, outshines every Tragically Hip album to date.

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