Walking Wounded

Everything but the Girl

1996: Atlantic 82912-2

  1. Before Today
  2. Wrong
  3. Single
  4. The Heart Remains a Child
  5. Walking Wounded
  6. Flipside
  7. Big Deal
  8. Mirrorball
  9. Good Cop Bad Cop
  10. Wrong (Todd Terry Remix)
  11. Walking Wounded (Omni Trio Remix)

Sometimes when I play this I think of Shaw, who introduced me to it, and I get very sad for days long gone when we were both happy in our lives…and how so much of his circumstances crashed down on him shortly after this (and I am still amazed and impressed that he survived it all and regrouped enough to grab some happiness back for himself). And sometimes I just get sad about the songs themselves, their elegantly dysfunctional themes twisting my brain something fierce. The most beautiful on the album, for me, is probably “Good Cop Bad Cop,” with “Big Deal” nipping at its heels for the top spot in the darkness. If “The Heart Remains a Child” weren’t right there after “Single,” providing some relatively light perspective, the bitter sandwich of “Wrong,” “Single,” and “Walking Wounded” would be so lethally chilling….

I also love the fact that when Shaw played it for me I had never heard anything quite like it: elegant and sophisticated, vocals somewhere between laid-back and tearfully confessional, over this soundscape of electronic machinery and mock-rustic recording noise. It all added up to such a cocktail of introspective alienation and isolation that I was quite awed by it actually, I couldn’t listen to it in an offhand manner, it required my complete attention and got it. It still does, I’m pleased to say.

This is however the only EBTG album I own; I’ve never been particularly fond of Tracy Thorn’s voice—not repelled either, mind you—but if I hear that this album isn’t such a one-off beauty and that some of the rest of their catalogue is up to this level of chilling art, maybe I’ll unbend a bit and try a little more.