Vincent Gallo

So Sad [CD/12"]

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    8
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For fans of actor/musician Vincent Gallo's debut album When on Warp, this track will sound like an outtake from the session, but we are assured it's brand new. So gentle, airy, and forlorn is Gallo's delivery that he reminds us here of a young Chet Baker with electric guitars, bass, drums, and tape loops instead of a trumpet and jazz quartet. "So Sad" follows along the theme of brokenness and resigned yet frail emptiness as on a trodden two-beat drum figure echoes in 4/4, a twinned pair of spare electric guitars play sketchy two-note chords before the vocal: "why do I always feel so sad?/why do I make things get sad?/so sad/so sad/soooo sad/why am I always so blue?/why do I make things turn blue?" Not exactly Lennon and McCartney, but it's not supposed to be; it is supposed to be impressionistic, spare, haunting, and give the impression that the singer is too. It works. By the time the second refrain comes to an end, Gallo (who plays everything here) kicks the volume of the drums up half a notch and slips one of the guitars into a Wes Montgomery-esque solo on the changes. It adds a lilt to the already frail vocal and skeletal lyrics, and, before you know it, it fades into the mist -- in just two minute and 13 seconds and it's over! The track seems to end in the middle of the guitar solo as if the singer couldn't even bear to go on and finish with the song; it's as if his own weight were more than the instruments or the slight quaver in his voice could handle. At the end, the listener is left wondering just what the hell happened -- even for Warp this is strange -- to both the singer and the song. Was there more? Was it just too emotionally unbearable and thus faded hastily? Did it just disappear into the ether of the studio, or it is all magnificent hoax? Either way it's close to brilliant.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:16
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