Thursday, October 21, 2010

For a Song: Roses and Clover

Animal Liberation Orchestra: Roses and Clover


Jack Johnson gets a lot of criticism for, to put it kindly, being overly mellow. But Johnson is the reason that Animal Liberation Orchestra is on a major label. Johnson signed them to his vanity label, and so their music is reaching the widest possible audience. Roses and Clover is the title track of the first album ALO recorded for the masses, and the song sizzles. The band sets up a simple groove, but they do just enough over the top of it to keep things cooking. Towards the end of the song, that groove threatens to explode, but then it settles back down.

The lyric describes how passion can take over your spirit. It might be a crush, or something more, but it threatens to consume the narrator. I’m sure the band didn’t have this in mind, but the song makes me think of vampires. In many tellings, they exert an influence over those whose blood they drink which feels like intense passion. So this one is seasonal, in a very obscure way. Either way, it’s a great song.