2010: 15 of the Best. #4 . . .

December 14, 2010

#4: Kula Shaker – Ophelia

From: Pilgrim’s Progress
Released: June 28, 2010
Label: StrangeF.O.L.K.
Buy it: Here.

Speaking of 1990s survivors who can still knock one out of the park every so often, Kula Shaker returned with their fourth full length LP, Pilgrims Progress, this year. Although the record wasn’t a huge departure from their previous effort, 2007’s Strangefolk, people who lost track after K might have been a bit surprised to find the ragas on Marshalls ethic of “Govinda” and “Tattva” traded in for more pastoral and orchestrated compositions. While it seems true that most artists go this route in their advancing years (only Paul Weller seems consistently interested in bucking the trend), the thing that saves Kula Shaker from the pitfalls so many others stumble into is the boys’ continuing knack for finding a good hook. Structurally, “Ophelia” seems almost like a rip-off. Two quick verses, a chorus that repeats two words and a harmonica solo basically constitutes everything. Ah, but the hooks that hold it together are quite strong indeed. And even in the quick verses, who among you would roll their eyes at a line like: “Doubt the stars are on fire and doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt that I love you until the day I die.” I submit it would only be those of you lacking a certain romantic flare in the heart chambers. And if that’s the case, well … don’t you need somebody to love?

One comment

  1. Not being pedantic, I swear…but that line’s a paraphrase of one from Hamlet:

    “Doubt thou the stars are fire,
    Doubt that the sun doth move,
    Doubt truth to be a liar,
    But never doubt I love.”

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