23 April 2008

Are you satisfied?

Never could quite pinpoint what it was about the song that struck a nerve with me. Was it the way Paul Westerberg wailed — almost moaned — "Look me in the eye and tell me, I'm satisfied?", his cracking voice stretching out the last word as if it were tied down by blackened iron to a medieval rack.

Satiss-fie-eee-iiied?

Maybe it was the guitars that teetered between jangle and full-fledged power chords. Maybe it's just that I was 14 when I first heard The Replacements' "Unsatisfied." I dunno. But the song would become for me their defining cut. When I grab an album by the band, I grab "Let It Be," largely because of this song. The angst and the frustration of being both alive and incomplete are captured there in just four minutes and one second.

And not pinpointing why the song is so special is part of why it's so special.

In any case, it's good to see the album remastered and re-released on Tuesday. Other CDs to look for: Elbow, "The Seldom Seen Kid"; Jonathan Richman, "Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild"; Tokyo Police Club, "Elephant Shell."

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