I recall a radio DJ once remarking on how difficult it is for Americans to find love. He was referring to songs like Foreigner’s ‘I wanna know what love is’. There were quite a lot like that at the time.
Alexander Woods’ problem isn’t so much finding it as holding on to it. In previous single ‘Stay’ in October last year, he was trying to save a relationship despite communication problems, while also bemoaning the bleakness of everyday life insofar as to how it imposes on the relationship.
In a serious song there were even hints of a deeper picture, perhaps of class-based impediments to the relationship.
It seems there was no solution to the predicament because in ‘Now I know’ he throws in the towel in what he calls the feeling of breaking apart together.
My first thought was that was an oxymoron but when you think about it a break up is something that can only be performed as a duet. Everything one partner does is going to be reflected in the equivalent reaction of the other. Newton’s Third Law holds true.
It isn’t easy to make synthesiser-influenced electro-pop music gloomy but Alexander gives it his best shot as he tries to paint a picture of the hopelessness and powerlessness of his situation and is aided by his ability to sing in the same manner as one might plead a case in the last chance saloon to the loved one.
There are a couple of lines which stood out to me, notably the opening one, “She held my heart in a cage, locked it away”, which immediately brought to mind Christina Perri’s ‘Jar of Hearts’ where the roles were reversed.
Then, “she longed for less of a man than I could be”, followed immediately by “I even gave her a hand, what’s got into me?”
I’m hard pressed to think of two lines that better suggest the dichotomies and contradictions that lie within relationship breakdowns. On the one hand he’s maintaining his Alpha Male stance, and refuses to be a wimp, woke, or whatever it is she craves for whatever reason, and then immediately collapses into a passive role in which helping with the washing up or ironing might help retrieve a hopeless situation.
And that put me in mind of some of the clever lines from Squeeze in ‘Up the Junction’ such as “I said you are a lady/perhaps, she said, I maybe” and “Alone here in the kitchen/I feel there’s something missing/I’d beg for some forgiveness/ But begging’s not my business”
That story tells admirably of the many factors which weigh on a collapsing relationship and while I’m not suggesting that Alexander is going to step straight into the shoes of Messrs Difford and Tilbrook there’s plenty here to imply he is rapidly perfecting a writing style that demands attention.
He will be playing live shows around Denmark this summer, with a highlight support-act for established Danish artist Artigeardit in Aarhus.
Find him on:
We hope you enjoyed reading this review. There are hundreds of others, suiting most musical tastes, so please have a browse through. Go to ‘All News and Reviews’ or select your preferred tab (‘Albums’, ‘Live’, ‘Features’ etc). There is also a search facility…your favourite artist or band might be here!