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200 words about Purple Mountains
Someone's gotta say it, hell
Summer is a curse, a blight, a pox. It is drunkenness at large, the languid hovering of hematophagic parasites that can barely be bothered to evade a swat because they are too engorged on precious plasma. Insects trapped like the rest of us on a tipsy blue planet that wobbles on its axis, careening seasonally back and forth in its pointless passage around a hellish inferno that alights an otherwise pleasantly frigid void. It’s all sweat and braying undergrads. I hate summer. My summer album is shaping up to be one that traffics profitably in the purest form of hatred: the self- kind. Purple Mountains, with its lickspittle guitar runs and pedal steel sighs, is jaunty and bright enough for summer. If you were only half-listening, you could mistake it for a collection of wry country-rock stompers tempered by a requisite handful of slow divorce ballads. “Darkness and Cold” or “Margaritas at the Mall” might be mistaken for all-in singalongs to blast with your best beach buds. And sure, yes, if you listen just a bit closer, the whole album is effectively an extended suicide note reeled off from the edge of oblivion, but never mind that — it’s summer!