Favorite Albums 2 - Stray

Here's the second installment of my favorite albums. This album is Stray by Aztec Camera. It was the group's fourth album, released in 1990. I'd never heard of them before this album came out, even though they had an early 80's semi-hit with "Oblivious." My introduction to Aztec Camera was as the opening act for Edie Brickell that year. I remember going to the show with my friend Tanya and being absolutely mesmerized by the band. This never happens. The day after the show I remember going to Music Shack and buying the cassette. I was hooked.

I keep talking about Aztec Camera like they are a they, but in fact they're more like a him. Roddy Frame is the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the group. It's basically him and whatever musicians he can round up at the time. He's since dropped the Aztec Camera moniker in favor of an official solo career.

Back in the early 90s I worked at a store called Records N' Such. We were going to have an Aztec Camera in store appearance and I was beside myself. But things fell through. First, the in store was nixed because the general manager was going to be on vacation. Not a big deal, I thought, because they were still going to be playing at a local club, so I would still get to see them again. But then the US tour got cancelled for whatever reason. I was bummed. So I never got to see them again.

The album features what very well may be my favorite song of all time. "Stray." It's not very often that I can find a song that I can feel so passionately, but this is one. The lyrics follow at the end.

Track Listing

The Crying Scene
Get Outta London
Over My Head
Good Morning Britain
How It Is
The Gentle Kind
Notting Hill Blues
Song For A Friend

Words and music by Roddy Frame

You don't have to tell me what you're still looking for,
Two arms to hold you and a voice to say,
"That's alright, you can spend the night",
Well, come around.
'Cos I've been there and these are the notes
From the overground,
The World Saxaphone Quartet, the smell of violets,
And a passing friend won't let you down.

Listen to the rhythm of the rain falling,
Say you're gonna change your foolish ways.
Make a promise, break a promise in the same day,
It goes the same way, anyway.
So you pray for silence and its sadness and its violence
To be washed away, One day.

I understand the state you've reach of being unreachable,
Somewhere out there where only the music plays.
Loneliness and being alone don't always mean the same,
Who needs the movie? You can see the music anyway.
A Sketch For Winter, a Burgundy and sanctuary
Can make me stay when I feel that way.

And if my words don't say the things that they were meant to say,
And if confusion comes and carries all my words away,
And if you still don't understand,
I wanna hold your hand, and look at it this way...
Someone singing's better than the war they're winning
Winging its way, your way or my way,
Any day, any way, stray.

No comments: