Tuesday, December 2, 2008

33. The Hold Steady - One for the Cutters

The thing that I love most about this track aside from the harpsichord (seriously when have you ever thought to yourself, "this song is great except for that pesky harpsichord") is that it follows in that fantastic tradition of The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia and even older cuts like the folk ballads Barbara Allen and Little Sadie and Johnny Cash's Long Black Veil. The big difference in this crime ballad is that in this case, it's hard to feel much sympathy for the justice obstructing ant/protagonist. This girl is like a lot of girls you know... on the surface she feels MUCH better than you and maybe she is, just below the surface though lurks just another girl who "when there weren't any parties, sometimes she'd party with townies." Add to that the fact that unlike Vickie Lawrence's Annie, Craig Finn's subject gets nothing close to redemption at the end and you have the recipe for a great song.

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