November 14, 2007

The End of the End of the Innocence

end of the innocenceListening to The End of the Innocence is an exercise in patience. Songs struggle to begin (the ten songs have 36-second average intro, three clock in at 50 seconds plus!) and they never, never finish (average song length 5:45). Is "The End of" part of the album's title Don Henley's sick joke?

It's not as if Don was alone in his excess. His list of co-conspirators is just as endless. Imagine them as the three concentric circles of Henley's late-eighties self-indulgent personality: condescending Hollywood liberals, fusion jazz musicians, and a crystal-using non-traditional (but sort of rootsy) spirituality. Overlap may occur.

Here's a truncated list: Axl Rose, Take 6, Patty Smyth, Melissa Etheridge, members of Toto, Stanley Jordan, Sheryl Crow, Bruce Hornsby, hell, just go to the wikipedia list. But take note the Maxine Waters listed there is NOT the Honorable Senator from California, although oddly that would make perfect sense.

Each song features a different set of this ridiculous cast of characters thusly making the album (as well as the unending songs themselves) a disconcerting roller coaster ride of hilarity all held together by Henley's preening vocals and third grader-on-coke-level insights. I'll make it short and just look at song 3, "I Will Not Go Quietly" co-chorused by Axl Rose.

It opens with a Sportscenter-intro-lame 15 seconds of Led-Zeppelin-esque drums and guitar which segues into a jangly wah wah guitar solo which is then backed by a building synthesizer wall of sound. We're now at 59 seconds which is where Don first chimes in and is swiftly backed up by a reverbing monstrosity of a synthesizer bass. And at this point there's just too much happening in the background for me to continue. This is what 128-track studios were made for. There must be two-dozen people playing on this song!

At 1:35 the chorus comes in with Don and Axl singing "Gonna Tear It Up/Gonna Tear Sh!t Up". And really I have yet to get any further. I giggle I laugh and I turn my mp3 player off and think "once I finish this next sentence I can delete this album forever."


TheAngryYoungMan said...
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TheAngryYoungMan said...


I had posted a comment wondering how you came up with "gonna tear it up/Gonna Tear Sh!t Up" but I now realize how you misheard it that way.

The line is actually:

gonna tear it up,
gonna trash it up.

Put the trash with the "it" that follows and I see how you misheard it.

venerableseed said...

that's funny. I guess I just equated the Axl Rose presence with trying to sound tough. The aforementioned mild expletive just felt natural.