Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Time To Say... Enough

It should come as no surprise, post-Diana and post-Jade Goody and in a world where the Misery Memoir strikes terror on the high seas of publishing, that record companies have cottoned on to the fact that they can make a cheap buck out of the nation’s apparently unending appetite for wallowing in cheap, cloying sentiment.

Death seemingly has to come with a soundtrack. Planning your funeral music has replaced chuntering about house prices as the hot topic of dinner party conversation. I talk in Reno about the way that vague ‘Angel’ songs ("Angel" by Sarah McLachan, "Angels" by Robbie Williams, "Candle In the Wind", "Over The Rainbow" – the Eva Cassisy version, of course) have become in the past decade or so crucibles for public displays of grief – usually centred around people we never actually knew; the songs and the people thus become repositories for emotions we no longer quite know how to process or express.

Now, on Time To Say Goodbye – great title! – 40 of these songs arrive all lined up in a row, billed as the “timeless soundtrack for moments of reflection” (ie. filing your collection of OK! magazine’s Jade specials). Basically, it’s on-demand funeral-lite music. I just wish they’d sneaked on Fade To Black or O Death.

But at least the cover is taseteful and understated. I think we can all relate to having a rather beautifully poised ‘reflective’ moment clad in a powder blue dress and kneeling on a carpet of scattered rose petals… hang on, do you think they might be targeting a female demographic?

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