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re: I’m including Parade
Posted by: Singapore/Fling 07:09 pm EDT 09/27/22
In reply to: re: I’m including Parade - Chazwaza 06:44 pm EDT 09/27/22

I didn’t say the two song cycles were the same, but that they are comparable because they are both sing cycles. And that is what JRB is good at. He excels at writing songs in which characters tell you who they are or some sort of story about what they witnessed or experienced, and he seems happiest when he can bring you new characters to tell you new stories, which is very much the structure of “Parade”.

He’s not so good, it strikes me, at peeling back the layers of the characters, which is the main problem with both “Parade” and “Bridges of Madison County”. He attempts to solve it in “Parade” by continually trotting out new people, and he attempts to solve it in “Bridges” by having the main couple sing a lot of songs in the same register that don’t really say anything new, and also giving us multiple endings…

And still pretty much everyone agrees that the best song is “Another Life”, a stand alone story song from a new character about a woman who can’t get love from her self-obsessed artist partner who unceremoniously leaves her, because that’s the form and territory where it seems Brown does his best work.
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