Filled with depthless longing, “Share Your Love” gave this album an emotional center.
Post Tagged with: "Richard Manuel"
And so the reflective ‘Northern Lights-Southern Cross’ ends, so full of promises.
Each word, as conveyed by a transcendent Richard Manuel, arrives like a gut punch.
For a brief moment, as the Band’s career officially got underway on 1968′s Music from Big Pink, Richard Manuel held the spotlight completely. “Tears of Rage” was enough to convince anyone of his anguished genius.
On an album that so often feels overcooked and too careful, the sloshy, gospel-gone-wrong of “4% Pantomime” lets it all hang down. That kind of loose camaraderie from the Band, so natural at first but by this point becoming an ever-more-rare occasion, was sorely missing elsewhere on 1971′s Cahoots.
Chasing down “Get Up Jake,” this dollop of hilarious country funk that outlines a crew’s failed attempts to rouse a boozy womanizing deckhand, is every bit as difficult as divining the concrete narrative on knotty fables like “The Weight.”
An album that underscored their growing individualization ends with one last blazing reminder of the way the Band’s voices once intertwined, the way their music provided a transportive solace, the way they once were — and sadly, of course, rarely were again.
After a series of twilit ruminations, and very dire warnings, about the Band’s new rock-star lifestyle late into Stage Fright, perhaps this utterly scarifying parable was all but inevitable.
On its surface, this appears to be another of the Band’s searcher tales and, taken as only that, it’s easy to see why some may have been disappointed. The setting of an old-fashioned medicine show feels, at first, a little too on the nose
“The Shape I’m In,” despite its galloping cadence, finds the Band’s Robbie Robertson desperately attempting to reach out to the badly faltering Richard Manuel.