Thursday, July 8, 2010

Warren Zevon: The Wind (2003)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Warren Zevon
The Wind

As most people know by now, making this album was Zevon’s way of not going gently into that good night after being diagnosed last year with the lung cancer that only recently killed him. And while in some ways the music is typical if not predictable (sarcastic, rollicking, sentimental), in other ways it’s so disarmingly and heartbreakingly simple it could get to you even if you didn’t know its backstory. The going isn’t unrelentingly solemn. “The Rest of the Night” rocks, rocks against the dying of the light. But what establishes the tone is “Please Stay,” “Keep Me in Your Heart”—moving pleas for a permanence unobtainable this side of eternity—and a rendition of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” that would seem to function both as quid pro quo (Dylan has performed Zevon songs during recent tours) and as a heartfelt response to the stirrings of grace. Rating: Four-and-a-half quiet, normal lives out of five.

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