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(Sevens, a new feature on Aquarium Drunkard, pays tribute to the art of the individual song.)

What starts in a daze often ends in clarity. That’s the way things seem to be and that’s the way of “The Orchids,” from Califone’s excellent 2006 album Roots and Crowns. In the same way that Johnny Cash made Hurt” his own by slowing it down and taking it seriously, Tim Rutilli and company pare Psychic TV’s original down to just the bones, peeling the demi-goth down to its heart in an aching lullaby to the soul. Genesis P’Orridge’s vocal in the original is an afterthought, a half-spoken glance of a delivery that undermines the crackling sensitivity of that one repeated line: “In the morning after the night, I fall in love with the light.” Rutilli owns it, though, sounding for the life of him like he’s actually been through that dark night; feedback swirls and peaks around and over his percussive guitar while the band turn the harmonies into sweet salvation. – m. garner

Download:
MP3: Califone :: The Orchids
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Amazon: Califone – Roots and Crowns

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2 Responses to “Sevens :: Califone: “The Orchids””

  1. My first interaction with this song was through Califone’s version – and didn’t even know it was a cover until more recently. I’m very fond of the original as well. I agree with the commentary on P’Orridge’s vocals, but I like them. Califone does what anyone ought to try and do with a cover, however, and own it as their own creation.

  2. i listen to califone or red red meat everyday
    the original version of three legged animals, called dreamless & inspired by orchids is one of my favourites:
    http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A39856

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