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Old Music Made New

During my mini CD clean-out project, one of the lost treasures I unearthed was Bree Sharp's 1999 album "A Cheap and Evil Girl." You may know it for its single, "David Duchovny." (whyyyy won't you love me!)

That's certainly why I bought it -- or rather, had my mom buy it for my birthday when she was pestering to know if I was sure there weren't any CDs I might want to own. It was actually 2001, and I was deep in the heart of my first fandom. I did not know a single thing about the singer or the CD (including its title), except that I loved this song and it seemed like something an X-Phile might want to to own, so that's what I asked for. Impressively, she did not question the title before buying it.

By all rights, this was a high risk purchase, and it is against all odds that I ended up liking every track and immediately making it one of my lifelong favorite albums. I haven't heard it in years, but when I played it back this weekend, a flood of memories came back. Want to walk through it with me?


First, it should be commended for the fact that as far as I recall, it's not as trashy as the title implies. I can't think of any cursing off the top of my head. There are two tracks (the title track and "Guttermouth") that skirt the boundaries of appropriate content, but more by implication than anything. Its style is a cross between rock and...not really pop; alternative maybe? One online review describes her as an "edgier Sheryl Crow," which I think about sums it up.

Listening to it was such a nostalgia rush, though. Like, I am flashing RIGHT back to spring 2001, doing homework, recognizing familiar lyrics as ones that always stood out to me even though I've long forgotten them on their own. I don't know if I still have that exact kind of experience with CDs, whether because of the rise of online streaming before you buy, or just because of my age at the time, but it's a neat feeling to recapture. I'm glad I still like most of the music I listened to at an early age.

* = one of the tracks I identified as an instant favorite in 2001

*1. America
I sold my privacy
So that I would always be pretty
And I can tell you that the best things are free
With proof of purchase


Songs with this title always seem to be about criticizing consumer culture (lookin' at you, Jewel), but I love them anyway. This one, in particular, seems like it has a whole bunch of useful lyrics for post titles about watching TV. What I really like in songs about media consumption are the ones from the turn of the century, where it seemed like with the advent of the internet everywhere it had reached new heights, yet in retrospect feels like that was just the beginning.

*2. David Duchovny
Still as good as ever. "It's Sunday night, I am curled up in my room" will always kind of be my anthem.

3. Walk Away
Big guns are pointed at me, big guns are pointed at you
Everybody's waitin' to see what we're gonna do
You spin around and disappear under the floor where I stand
I'm left with, I'm left with a bag in my hand


One of the slightly slower ones, I particularly like the imagery in the verses and the cool harmonies. This one also, for some reason, always reminds me of reading YA novels? But I don't know which one(s).

4. Smitten
Sickened by the season, I am smitten with you

I never really understood what this line meant, and that made it interesting to me. (though I will say it's one of my lesser favorites now)

5. Not Your Girl
You rip the sureness from my stare
And throw the pieces in the air
Your fingers string me like a pearl
You say I'm not your kind of girl


Fast paced and exciting, I love the anger in "what kind of girl should I be?" It's greatest crime is being too short (2:15) -- I played it 3 times in a row just now.

****6. Fallen
Lucy is gazing out into space
She has starry eyes, starry eyes
That light up her face, like an angel


[I'm going to put the rest of the lyrics behind a spoiler cut because I love them so freaking much that I can't choose just one.]
Little girl, little girl questioning me
She says, "Why doesn't everyone have what they need?"

Where are the angels, angels, angels
Where are the angels, angels, angels?"

I cannot tell you, my little darling
All my faith has fallen, fallen, fallen

The stars in Lucy's eyes run down her cheek
Like teardrops of fire
Still her voice is as sweet as an angel
She says, "Where is the place that
The good souls go, where they take away
Take away the pain that they know?

Where are the angels, angels, angels?
Where are the angels, angels, angels?"

I can not tell you, my little darling
All my faith has fallen, fallen, fallen

Ashes to ashes, we all fall down
Ashes to ashes, we all fall down
If I could take, the world in my arms
I'd take all the wrong and I'd fly

Yes, I'd like to know
Where the good souls go
Where are the angels, angels, angels?





A SONG ABOUT A SAD GIRL?? AND ANGELS?? SIGN ME UP. As someone who cried rather a lot, you can imagine how instantly I latched onto this imagery. I listened to this song on repeat pretty much any time I was upset/sang the second verse in my head every time I felt them start to well up.
Honestly, I don't know if I have just always loved songs with a girl's name for a title, or if they all began right here with this one. It's one of my favorite songs of all time, and the phrase "The stars in Lucy's eyes run down her cheeks" is the most beautiful description of tears I have ever come across in my life.

I know that was very rambly and disconnected, but I don't know if I've ever posted about this song before and I really cannot gush about it enough.

*7. The Cheap and Evil Girl
Into the club for a romp in the sauna
Scream through the steam, there's a shot, you're a goner


And on the complete opposite end of the innocence scale... but this one has such a cool film noir feel to it that I could never really think of it as trashy. Probably helped along by use of the term "gumshoe" at one point.

8. Faster, Faster
Faster, faster, I'm the star in this disaster movie
But in the end I ride alone


Come on, that is some good imagery. More specifically applied to this song, it's basically Confessions of A Roaming Con Artist (heading for the horizon on motorcycle, in tattered leather boots). I gotta like her, because that's the kind of underbelly world we're in with this CD anyway.

9. Fool's Gold
For a girl of my age, why am I so numb?

Soft and sad song about trying not to give up when the world's let you down. I like the cadence to the chorus, and the phrase "running down thieves and fool's gold."

10. Guttermouth
She's got tons of DNA
But all they see is T&A
A perfect lady looks that way
Knows what she can and cannot say


I LOVE this one. I want to give it all the awards for making you ask if, instead of judging trashy young women from the inner city, maybe you shouldn't look at the crappy place they grew up and ask yourself what kind of survival mechanisms a person might adopt in that environment. Also, it's such a catchy song that I can sing every single word from memory, and there are a lot of verses packed into its 2 minutes and 35 seconds.

11. Show Me
Solitary girl, I have been
Living in a cell made of skin


This one is a lot calmer than most of the others -- not slow, just more like contemporary/easy listening than the rock edge the other non-ballads have. It's a nice closer, if not overly memorable.

Next time on "Forgotten 90s Classics of Lady Music": Beth Hart, "Screamin' For My Supper."

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
dollsome
Feb. 27th, 2015 04:31 am (UTC)
BREE SHARP! I don't think I ever had this album, but I had a handful of songs by her that I used to listen to all the time. The Duchovny song was, of course, the anthem! But I also loved "Cheap and Evil Girl" (I vaguely remember associating it with great glee with Lauren Reed from Alias) and I am preeeeeeeetty sure I started making some kind of fanvideo to "Show Me" at some point, because those lyrics you quoted went ping! in my brain right away. It was either a Buffy-related fanvideo (maybe about Faith?) or a Kate/Sawyer one, and I am suddenly a little bit sad that I don't remember. Ah, the fannish endeavors of young me!

ALSO! Did you see this marvelous video in which Bree Sharp performed her classic ballad at David Duchovny's book signing earlier this month? I tell you, my heart soared watching it!
rainbowstevie
Feb. 27th, 2015 08:23 pm (UTC)
Aw, yes! I'm so happy when we share a musical brain and that I am not the only person on LJ who remembers her. That lost fannish endeavor sounds like a good one.

And no, I was not aware of that video at all! (or that he wrote a book, whoops) That was super adorable. "I think that day is here."
pianogurl330
Feb. 27th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
Don't you love listening to an old album that connects you back to the memories of when you used to listen to it!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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