Song Of the Day: October 30-31, 2005
Chris Knox - Song Of the Good Wife
From the LP Croaker, Flying Nun Records, 1995
Chris Knox - One Fell Swoop
From the LP Songs Of You and Me, Flying Nun Records, 1995
Byron Coley on Chris Knox: "He may insist on playing his songs over backing loops that sound like sumo wrestlers pulling crescent wrenches out of each other's wet asses, but a song as lovely as "Not Given Lightly" remains world class pop in spite of it's chunk-burl arrangement." Insights like that are what kept me reading Forced Exposure even though they hated most of the records I liked and heaped praise on things I couldn't fathom like Jandek and Borbetomagus.
Chris Knox's melodic gifts seem to get shinier with every passing year; lyrically he has always been a fascinating character with a variety of moods, capable of the most horrific imagery imaginable one moment, touching philosophical insight the next, and exquisitely expressed romantic sentiment immediately afterward. "One Fell Swoop" tends toward the latter, a lovely pop tune in the mold of the much-beloved "Not Given Lightly." "Song Of the Good Wife," on the other hand, shows Knox's gift for rather more depressing subjects. I really like the mournful cello, and the lyric is just brutal; it could be from the Davies School of Social Observation, but it's way too pointed and accusatory, and not nearly so arch.