In planning this blog and deciding to attempt writing about every single Hussalonia recording, one of my motivations was a love of the underdog. In both my tastes in music and in other things, I've noticed a bizarre reoccurrence. If I enjoy something popular, generally my favorite part of it will be the part that nobody else enjoys very much, maybe even the part that most everybody else actually hates. For example, "Infidels" is considered by many to be a lesser Bob Dylan album, but it's my personal favorite. Though there are songs and other works of art that I don't particularly enjoy, I have long believed that most works of art simply have their place. A song that for most of my life I don't care much for might one day become my favorite. It may not remain my favorite for long, but for that particular day it is. Perhaps it will only be one person's favorite for one particular day, or even an hour. As a writer, much of what I create is crafted with the knowledge that my work may only have a very short period of worth, and very possibly only in the life of someone I will never meet. When I listen to a song (or read a book or watch a movie or whatever the case may be) no matter whether I love it, am ambivalent about it or even find myself outright irritated by it, I try to find what about it may be good and meaningful, even if it is only for a certain type of situation and a certain type of mood. Some songs don't make a strong impression on me one way or another (the last entry on "The Twist" contains a Hussalonia-based example, though some songs from this album made stronger impressions on me after I gave them closer listens for the purposes of writing about them on this blog) but I try to discover in what sort of mood, place and time that they might.
In the case of "Everything and Its Opposite At Once," however, I need not search far for a particular mood in which I would best appreciate the track. This one draws me in as soon as it begins, every time.
Somehow in the span of a minute and a half it manages to build a beautiful momentum, beginning right off the bat with a strong, catchy sound. I can't think, off the top of my head, of many other songs that have such a powerful, climactic sound that builds up so nicely in such a short time.
The lyrics match the rhythm very well, and I find that it keeps me guessing every time I hear it. The one the narrator sings about is the killer…and raises the dead, is a thief and the police, is mysterious, magical, and has the narrator under the spell of his or her clavicle, which is a line which particularly baffles me.
Who might this paradoxical person/entity be?
God? Jesus Christ? If you consider the Judeo-Christian view, God has certainly killed quite a few people, and Christ has raised the dead, plus there's the whole "like a thief in the night" thing. I'm unsure of God being viewed as the police, though there may yet be some argument there.
Bob Dylan? I have no idea why it would be Bob Dylan, but I seem to recall some speculation that he was the subject of that "You Oughtta Know" song by Alanis Morissette. If she can maybe write a cryptic song about Bob Dylan, why shouldn't Hussalonia be able to maybe write a cryptic song about him?
Johnny Cash? Kris Kristofferson said that he was a "walking contradiction," and that seems applicable here. I'm unaware of his ability to resurrect the dead, though.
Sting? He was a member of The Police. I'm unaware of his having murdered anyone, or having joined the band The Killers, but maybe Hussalonia knows something that I don't?
My nonsense aside, this is a personal favorite track of mine. I can't say that I have any particular insight on it, and aside from simply enjoying the music I'm not sure what in particular draws me into it so quickly every time that I hear it. I am always impressed that so much beauty can be fitted into a minute and a half. It is the sort of song that I'm frequently replaying, both to satiate my urge to hear what keeps looping in my head and in the vain hope that eventually it will become longer by several minutes.
I don't know who is "Everything and Its Opposite At Once," but I know that I love this track. Mysterious and magical, that's what it is.