Friday, October 19, 2012
An Insurmountable Task
I've probably made it at least somewhat clear that I'm not much of a fan of MSR records, particularly not in the post-Rodd Keith era (a point that appears to begin about the time that MSR's record numbers mysteriously jumped from around 900 to 2100). And I rarely enjoy Dick Kent as much as I do many of his contemporaries in the field. Most of those MSR records I do enjoy are of the car crash variety, and this is one.
Seriously, listen to this thing. It's called Love Divine. I'm not sure if the problem lies with the construction of the lyrics - maybe they were just too hard to shoehorn into something melodic and singable - or in the job done by whoever wrote and arranged the music, but no one, not even the greatest singers on earth, could have gotten through this meandering melody line and this avalanche of non-melodious lyrics without at least a stumble.
The real meat is after about the 1:20 point - I particularly like the clunky line "we will overcome the rugged times" and then comes the final line, where Dick decides to offer up some particularly awful melisma on the word "arms", sort of stumbling over to the final notes, then completing missing the tune on the final repetition of the title, "love divine", as the pianist hits several completely random arpeggios, suggesting perhaps that the take has been ruined. But no, they went with it.
I wish I could offer up words of encouragement for those listening to the flip side, "I Just Keep Praying For You", but it's just dull, dull, dull. And when he sings "the roses have withered away" and "our green lawn is turning to hay", it seems like "I just keep praying" should lead to the near-rhyme (and natural response to dying grass and flowers) of "for rain", but no, the rhyme scheme disappears and the title "for you" appears instead.