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Old 26 Sep 2016, 20:42   #1
ashkent7
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Default The story of Braver Than We Are

I know in his interviews Meat has said that Braver is told from the view of 10 different 19 year olds (including the 13 year old boosted by 6 years), but he has also said that that is just how he sings it and not necessarily the person Jim was writing as.

For me, the more I listen to the album I see a single story narrative which for me makes the order of the tracks perfect and possibly why Meat and Jim spent so much time deciding the running order. Not sure if anyone else has thought the same/has different views but this is my Braver story.

1 Who Needs The Young –The angry 19 year old, he’s finished school, things haven’t been going great for about 6 months or so, meaning it is the end of the world in his eyes and he’s just lashing out and asking why suffer childhood when what follows is just getting by as an adult with all it’s trials until you die

2. Going All The Way – Soon after he finds himself a girl (or two) and his perspective on life changes. After going all the way, he has a girl, he now wonders just how far he can push things to get more out of life. How many times can he go all the way…with how many…

3. Speaking in Tongues – falling in love quickly turns him into a pile of philosophical mush. He’s loved up. He’s thinking about all the things that you get out of life. He’s found his erection of the heart.

4. Loving You’s A Dirty Job – Then a few weeks later, the cracks are showing in the relationship. It’s become a chore to live with each other, but there are still occasional sparks. At the end though, he is starting to wonder whether the good outweighs the bad.

5. Souvenirs – It’s done. The bitterness has crept in and he’s done. He’s booting her out. She’s already got another man lined up, and while telling her to take whatever she wants while mockingly telling her new man to “take his baby” and “show her a read good time”, while questioning his ability to satisfy her.

6. Only When I Feel – He’s done with everything. The pain of the break up had done him in. He needs something to take away the pain, something to get him over it.

7. More – So he goes on a binge. He wants it all. He goes to bars, clubs, gets drunk, gets laid, but he always just feels like he wants to take, take take everything he can. No matter how destructive.

8 Godz – and now he hates the world for everything that has gone wrong. He wants it all to burn in fire.

9. Skull of Your Country – And he has a vision of the aftermath of such an annihilation. And it makes him think about things outside his own problems and hurt. He turns viewing injustice after injustice, and it makes him question everything

10 Train of Love – Question everything to the point that he no longer knows who he is. The events of the album have taken place over a couple of months at most and he has gone from being disillusioned, to ecstatic, to miserable and depressed to wanting the whole world destroyed. He doesn’t know where it all started anymore and has to start the cycle all over again to find out.

On Bat, Jim always talked about writing the ultimate and most extreme car sex song with Paradise…but the more I listen to Braver I don’t think he succeeded. I started off thinking that Loving You’s a Dirty Job could actually fit as an additional piece to Paradise, coming in before The End of Time section. But then I thought, in that case, Going All The Way could come in before Loving You so you have the ball play, the gonna go all the way tonight section, then Going all The Way, then Loving You, then End of Time. But every time I listened something else jumped in. What if the couple in Paradise got the point they couldn’t go on waiting for the end of time and one of them snapped and said get out and take your souvenirs, which effectively added the whole second half of Braver to the end of it. So why not fill in the missing pieces…what was the guy like before the car sex, what was he like immediately after before it all went wrong. And there you have it.
So as well as a story in its own right, for me Braver is actually Paradise written as a novel instead of a short story.

Let’s not go into what I think if you add in Anything for Love, All Revved Up, For Crying Out Loud, Frying Pan, Bat, etc etc…the writer in me starts to take over and before you know it we’ll be at 50k words and counting.

I’ll just leave it as this…If there was a Jim Steinman writing scripts in Hollywood, sequels and prequels would actually be worth the admission fee because everything would genuinely connect. One of the latter Saw films had a tagline of all the pieces will fit…they didn’t. Here they do, you just have to take time to find their place.
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Old 26 Sep 2016, 21:38   #2
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I'm on my phone so I can't write much but wow just wow. what a great thing you list wrote!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashkent7 View Post
I know in his interviews Meat has said that Braver is told from the view of 10 different 19 year olds (including the 13 year old boosted by 6 years), but he has also said that that is just how he sings it and not necessarily the person Jim was writing as.

For me, the more I listen to the album I see a single story narrative which for me makes the order of the tracks perfect and possibly why Meat and Jim spent so much time deciding the running order. Not sure if anyone else has thought the same/has different views but this is my Braver story.

1 Who Needs The Young –The angry 19 year old, he’s finished school, things haven’t been going great for about 6 months or so, meaning it is the end of the world in his eyes and he’s just lashing out and asking why suffer childhood when what follows is just getting by as an adult with all it’s trials until you die

2. Going All The Way – Soon after he finds himself a girl (or two) and his perspective on life changes. After going all the way, he has a girl, he now wonders just how far he can push things to get more out of life. How many times can he go all the way…with how many…

3. Speaking in Tongues – falling in love quickly turns him into a pile of philosophical mush. He’s loved up. He’s thinking about all the things that you get out of life. He’s found his erection of the heart.

4. Loving You’s A Dirty Job – Then a few weeks later, the cracks are showing in the relationship. It’s become a chore to live with each other, but there are still occasional sparks. At the end though, he is starting to wonder whether the good outweighs the bad.

5. Souvenirs – It’s done. The bitterness has crept in and he’s done. He’s booting her out. She’s already got another man lined up, and while telling her to take whatever she wants while mockingly telling her new man to “take his baby” and “show her a read good time”, while questioning his ability to satisfy her.

6. Only When I Feel – He’s done with everything. The pain of the break up had done him in. He needs something to take away the pain, something to get him over it.

7. More – So he goes on a binge. He wants it all. He goes to bars, clubs, gets drunk, gets laid, but he always just feels like he wants to take, take take everything he can. No matter how destructive.

8 Godz – and now he hates the world for everything that has gone wrong. He wants it all to burn in fire.

9. Skull of Your Country – And he has a vision of the aftermath of such an annihilation. And it makes him think about things outside his own problems and hurt. He turns viewing injustice after injustice, and it makes him question everything

10 Train of Love – Question everything to the point that he no longer knows who he is. The events of the album have taken place over a couple of months at most and he has gone from being disillusioned, to ecstatic, to miserable and depressed to wanting the whole world destroyed. He doesn’t know where it all started anymore and has to start the cycle all over again to find out.

On Bat, Jim always talked about writing the ultimate and most extreme car sex song with Paradise…but the more I listen to Braver I don’t think he succeeded. I started off thinking that Loving You’s a Dirty Job could actually fit as an additional piece to Paradise, coming in before The End of Time section. But then I thought, in that case, Going All The Way could come in before Loving You so you have the ball play, the gonna go all the way tonight section, then Going all The Way, then Loving You, then End of Time. But every time I listened something else jumped in. What if the couple in Paradise got the point they couldn’t go on waiting for the end of time and one of them snapped and said get out and take your souvenirs, which effectively added the whole second half of Braver to the end of it. So why not fill in the missing pieces…what was the guy like before the car sex, what was he like immediately after before it all went wrong. And there you have it.
So as well as a story in its own right, for me Braver is actually Paradise written as a novel instead of a short story.

Let’s not go into what I think if you add in Anything for Love, All Revved Up, For Crying Out Loud, Frying Pan, Bat, etc etc…the writer in me starts to take over and before you know it we’ll be at 50k words and counting.

I’ll just leave it as this…If there was a Jim Steinman writing scripts in Hollywood, sequels and prequels would actually be worth the admission fee because everything would genuinely connect. One of the latter Saw films had a tagline of all the pieces will fit…they didn’t. Here they do, you just have to take time to find their place.
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Old 27 Sep 2016, 03:14   #3
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Originally Posted by stretch37 View Post
I'm on my phone so I can't write much but wow just wow. what a great thing you list wrote!
Ha, phones are the devils work when it comes to writing on them

Thanks though...it's just one of those things that kind of clicked over a few days and I had to write it down, and once it was down I thought it was selfish not to share.
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Old 27 Sep 2016, 16:55   #4
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Great screen-play.
When I first listened to the album, I had similar feelings. I thought that it's like an rock opera.
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Old 27 Sep 2016, 19:04   #5
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I looked back at my first thoughts when I first listened to the album .. and they are very similar

Who Needs The Young, filled with frustration and anger at those older than him, the things they say dismissing the young, perhaps jealous at having wasted their own lives in his eyes.
Going All The Way sees this fear and frustration swelling to desire and hope.
Speaking in Tongues sees that fulfilled, emotions on erotic fire
Loving You’s a Dirty Job sees this fragmenting, disillusionment starting to gnaw at what he thought he’d found, passion fades, love is hard to keep alive, those flames originally felt so gloriously are dying without being fed and nurtured .. the lines "You're so busy trying to get even, You never even try to get close"; are so poignant and blaming.
Souvenirs has such strength of angry loss and sadness, I wanted to believe he was defiantly holding on to one single shred he will never relinquish, his love .. but no, it has been consumed, exhausted, lost.
Only When I Feel, hitting rock bottom, ravaged with pain
More, confusion, longing, an inexhaustible sense of need
Godz, brutal anger directed at a world that seems so hard, so wrong, with its war-like marching drummers beat, becoming almost one with Skull of Your Country, and then the repeated phrase to Turn Around Bright Eyes offering some hope and encouragement to keep going, a small beacon beckoning.
Train of Love, the lyrics suggest a wanting to love himself and the world around him, to somehow find his place through love and to love, yet still delivered with the pain and confusion of someone who is still struggling to find his way to do that. He is left still not knowing who he is.

I guess I don’t quite see it as a story played out over a short period in “real time”, though I can see it from your hilltop, and that may well have been Meat’s and Jim’s intention in the sequencing, which I agree is perfect and seamless. I listened to all the feelings and emotions of the 19 year old boy, sharing his frustrations, fears, hopes, fleeting joy, then rage and anger leading back to confusion, but articulated with a wisdom beyond his years.

Perhaps it’s an age thing Perhaps because I could see a man standing on a darkened stage, lit by one soft spotlight, singing as his story played out on a screen. To me Meat’s truth was to convey all those emotions just as vividly and truthfully as they were felt by that nineteen year old, and yes, playing out as a story, a drama with each scene following the last one in that sequence. Perhaps I see it as a story we can play out more than once, sometimes even many times, each time feeling just as we did at 19. There exists for me a retrospective feel .. that sense of wisdom in the way it’s articulated.
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Old 27 Sep 2016, 20:32   #6
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Further to both of your brilliant interpretations of the story, I actually see Braver, Bat1, and Bat 2 as a story all together. Bat 1 is the teenager, braver is the young adult, and bat 2 is the grown up. That's how I see it anyway. To me Bat3 has become more like a collection of songs than having any backstory as there doesn't seem to be one, so I can't include that. I can only conclude that Braver is what Bat 3 should have been. Braver is a masterpiece.
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Old 05 Nov 2016, 17:16   #7
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This is one hell of an over view of this record . you really went into the whole record instead of just going into each track I understand you went track by track . You have it now rewrite it without using track numbers or song Titles . Example
getting by as an adult with all it’s trials until you die, Soon after he finds himself a girl (or two) and his perspective on life changes. falling in love quickly turns him into a pile of philosophical mush. He’s loved up. He’s thinking about all the things that you get out of life. He’s found his erection of the heart.
If you wrote it that Way you have captured the record .

You might leave an Opera or a Musical liking one song more than the others, but not even critics of Theatre , will break down every song the way that some people have . Which I am sorry is totally the wrong thing to have done with this record . It is so different . These people don't even come close to understanding it . So the only way they know to talk about it is old fashioned. Try to grow with something learn something , don't live in the past and do things the same old way . I was Glad to see that a majority of music critics understood and were will (finally) to except something that didn't live in the rest of the music word .

Nice Job AshKent7 ... for moving forward and getting out of the hole so many are trapped in and have no wish to ever get out off , won't admit they could be wrong . . Same reason I am not in the "Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame" refusal to admit they were wrong about Jimmy and me . Someone at the Q awards did a very long and deep research and found Bat was over 50 million in sales .


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashkent7 View Post
I know in his interviews Meat has said that Braver is told from the view of 10 different 19 year olds (including the 13 year old boosted by 6 years), but he has also said that that is just how he sings it and not necessarily the person Jim was writing as.

For me, the more I listen to the album I see a single story narrative which for me makes the order of the tracks perfect and possibly why Meat and Jim spent so much time deciding the running order. Not sure if anyone else has thought the same/has different views but this is my Braver story.

1 Who Needs The Young –The angry 19 year old, he’s finished school, things haven’t been going great for about 6 months or so, meaning it is the end of the world in his eyes and he’s just lashing out and asking why suffer childhood when what follows is just getting by as an adult with all it’s trials until you die

2. Going All The Way – Soon after he finds himself a girl (or two) and his perspective on life changes. After going all the way, he has a girl, he now wonders just how far he can push things to get more out of life. How many times can he go all the way…with how many…

3. Speaking in Tongues – falling in love quickly turns him into a pile of philosophical mush. He’s loved up. He’s thinking about all the things that you get out of life. He’s found his erection of the heart.

4. Loving You’s A Dirty Job – Then a few weeks later, the cracks are showing in the relationship. It’s become a chore to live with each other, but there are still occasional sparks. At the end though, he is starting to wonder whether the good outweighs the bad.

5. Souvenirs – It’s done. The bitterness has crept in and he’s done. He’s booting her out. She’s already got another man lined up, and while telling her to take whatever she wants while mockingly telling her new man to “take his baby” and “show her a read good time”, while questioning his ability to satisfy her.

6. Only When I Feel – He’s done with everything. The pain of the break up had done him in. He needs something to take away the pain, something to get him over it.

7. More – So he goes on a binge. He wants it all. He goes to bars, clubs, gets drunk, gets laid, but he always just feels like he wants to take, take take everything he can. No matter how destructive.

8 Godz – and now he hates the world for everything that has gone wrong. He wants it all to burn in fire.

9. Skull of Your Country – And he has a vision of the aftermath of such an annihilation. And it makes him think about things outside his own problems and hurt. He turns viewing injustice after injustice, and it makes him question everything

10 Train of Love – Question everything to the point that he no longer knows who he is. The events of the album have taken place over a couple of months at most and he has gone from being disillusioned, to ecstatic, to miserable and depressed to wanting the whole world destroyed. He doesn’t know where it all started anymore and has to start the cycle all over again to find out.

On Bat, Jim always talked about writing the ultimate and most extreme car sex song with Paradise…but the more I listen to Braver I don’t think he succeeded. I started off thinking that Loving You’s a Dirty Job could actually fit as an additional piece to Paradise, coming in before The End of Time section. But then I thought, in that case, Going All The Way could come in before Loving You so you have the ball play, the gonna go all the way tonight section, then Going all The Way, then Loving You, then End of Time. But every time I listened something else jumped in. What if the couple in Paradise got the point they couldn’t go on waiting for the end of time and one of them snapped and said get out and take your souvenirs, which effectively added the whole second half of Braver to the end of it. So why not fill in the missing pieces…what was the guy like before the car sex, what was he like immediately after before it all went wrong. And there you have it.
So as well as a story in its own right, for me Braver is actually Paradise written as a novel instead of a short story.

Let’s not go into what I think if you add in Anything for Love, All Revved Up, For Crying Out Loud, Frying Pan, Bat, etc etc…the writer in me starts to take over and before you know it we’ll be at 50k words and counting.

I’ll just leave it as this…If there was a Jim Steinman writing scripts in Hollywood, sequels and prequels would actually be worth the admission fee because everything would genuinely connect. One of the latter Saw films had a tagline of all the pieces will fit…they didn’t. Here they do, you just have to take time to find their place.

Last edited by Fire Ball; 05 Nov 2016 at 17:27.
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Old 05 Nov 2016, 17:43   #8
robgomm
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Originally Posted by Fire Ball View Post
This is one hell of an over view of this record . you really went into the whole record instead of just going into each track I understand you went track by track . You have it now rewrite it without using track numbers or song Titles . Example
getting by as an adult with all it’s trials until you die, Soon after he finds himself a girl (or two) and his perspective on life changes. falling in love quickly turns him into a pile of philosophical mush. He’s loved up. He’s thinking about all the things that you get out of life. He’s found his erection of the heart.
If you wrote it that Way you have captured the record .

You might leave an Opera or a Musical liking one song more than the others, but not even critics of Theatre , will break down every song the way that some people have . Which I am sorry is totally the wrong thing to have done with this record . It is so different . These people don't even come close to understanding it . So the only way they know to talk about it is old fashioned. Try to grow with something learn something , don't live in the past and do things the same old way . I was Glad to see that a majority of music critics understood and were will (finally) to except something that didn't live in the rest of the music word .

Nice Job AshKent7 ... for moving forward and getting out of the hole so many are trapped in and have no wish to ever get out off , won't admit they could be wrong . . Same reason I am not in the "Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame" refusal to admit they were wrong about Jimmy and me . Someone at the Q awards did a very long and deep research and found Bat was over 50 million in sales .
Nice and totally agree. Although as you said in many interviews we each have our own stories we create from the albums. As I said for me I have the story of someones whole life running through Bat 1, Braver, and then finally Bat 2. It works so well for me.
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Old 05 Nov 2016, 17:55   #9
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Glad to see you have moved into story mode . Good Job , Yes, Bat 3 Mr Child and I fought all the time , He brought in the Record Co. along with Kovac and threatened me . When the record started all the characters made sense together, When alive showed up and one more song a duet , The album lost all sense direction. It know longer made sense , it was like lunch hour on a Manhattan Street . The album no longer made a point , songs were running around knocking each other down , you would get on a Highway and the Highway would crumble in front of you . I don't make albums with songs except 1971 where I was left out of the loop all the time tracks were cut , I was told when to sing . Most albums are still done that way today . That is why the audience for music is gone , Every couple of years you get a great song . Jim and and are 69 , "how could those old men come up with a great song !!!!
Every Album but 1971 and bat 3 all live in the same house and never get in each others way !!! By the way Jim and I have never had an argument in 42 years oh yea a disagreement but never a fight or argument , the disagreements
minor and stupid and something we can always laugh about , I mean small stupid disagreements like what cake are we getting for desert .


Quote:
Originally Posted by robgomm View Post
Further to both of your brilliant interpretations of the story, I actually see Braver, Bat1, and Bat 2 as a story all together. Bat 1 is the teenager, braver is the young adult, and bat 2 is the grown up. That's how I see it anyway. To me Bat3 has become more like a collection of songs than having any backstory as there doesn't seem to be one, so I can't include that. I can only conclude that Braver is what Bat 3 should have been. Braver is a masterpiece.
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Old 05 Nov 2016, 20:42   #10
ashkent7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Ball View Post
This is one hell of an over view of this record . you really went into the whole record instead of just going into each track I understand you went track by track . You have it now rewrite it without using track numbers or song Titles . Example
getting by as an adult with all it’s trials until you die, Soon after he finds himself a girl (or two) and his perspective on life changes. falling in love quickly turns him into a pile of philosophical mush. He’s loved up. He’s thinking about all the things that you get out of life. He’s found his erection of the heart.
If you wrote it that Way you have captured the record .

You might leave an Opera or a Musical liking one song more than the others, but not even critics of Theatre , will break down every song the way that some people have . Which I am sorry is totally the wrong thing to have done with this record . It is so different . These people don't even come close to understanding it . So the only way they know to talk about it is old fashioned. Try to grow with something learn something , don't live in the past and do things the same old way . I was Glad to see that a majority of music critics understood and were will (finally) to except something that didn't live in the rest of the music word .

Nice Job AshKent7 ... for moving forward and getting out of the hole so many are trapped in and have no wish to ever get out off , won't admit they could be wrong . . Same reason I am not in the "Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame" refusal to admit they were wrong about Jimmy and me . Someone at the Q awards did a very long and deep research and found Bat was over 50 million in sales .
Thanks. I guess this reply needs to go in the file right next to the one Jim replied on the original review I wrote him when the album "leaked" what seems like an eternity ago.

I think the tracks were put here just to keep place for anyone who decided to read that couldn't keep up with where the story was, but for me it is all one narrative. Like pretty much everything Jim's done...Go back to any set of interviews either of you have done in promo for Bat or Bat 2 and it's repeated over and over. "Every song Jimmy writes goes into Neverland. It has always been that way" and that is where the coherence comes from. Even down to the repetitions that some people just can't get a grasp of or mistakenly call lazy. It's not. It's because all of these songs are linked and if all sense of "tracks" are removed from every album where you have worked together, you see where the narrative writes itself. That's why I haven't listened to Braver without it beginning at the start and running to the end, and it's most likely the reason why I don't have playlists of certain songs or use the shuffle feature on my ipod. It's all or nothing.

And just as a secondary note to emphasize the impact the album had on me...I have two albums of lyrics that i wrote about 4 years ago in between the other stuff i write. I have never been able to start another set of lyrics without getting a couple of lines in and thinking this is crap. About 4 days after hearing Braver, I sat down and wrote the lyrics to 23 songs in a few days, and when i looked at themI hadn't really thought about it much but they all seemed to have a connection and a flow into each other. I can only put that down to the album I had just listened to.

It's been said many places on this forum, but one more time for the road. Thank you for the last 40 odd years and for what you and Jim have brought into the world that no one else would ever try. Can't wait for the musical to see Jim's dream on stage.

Take care.
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Old 07 Nov 2016, 15:52   #11
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I understand the story behind the album. My question is: why a 69 years old artist wants to play a 19 years old kid? In 2016 Robert de Niro won't be Romeo and Diane Keaton won't be Juliette, and it's fair enough. Braver Then We Are is indulging in nostalgia and a romance of youth what doesn't work to me at all.

I would be happier with an album with how to became old, what is the feeling of aging, and maybe one song about 'when I was 19'. I know Jim doesn't write songs anymore so it's impossible. Because of this I find this album as a bunch of old demos with a forced and unnecessary storyline.
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Old 07 Nov 2016, 16:15   #12
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with a forced and unnecessary storyline.
The storyline is irrelevant. It is how Meat wanted to record the album or how Jim intended it to be, that is good -for them. You as a listener do not need to follow the same path.

In example, Meat says there are no tracks, it's a non-stop symphony. But when I listen I do hear tracks. I built my own story/interpertation to each song. And believe me my interpertation is different but it is not wrong. It is how I live/feel/enjoy/etc the album.

Your interpertation is also not wrong. Just because the artist feels a certain way about it doesn't mean you have to! So if the storyline feels forced to you, FORGET ABOUT IT! Create your own storyline, your own track list and your own interpertation to it. Whatever makes you enjoy the songs the most for you is the right way for you!
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Old 07 Nov 2016, 18:06   #13
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I would be happier with an album with how to became old, what is the feeling of aging, and maybe one song about 'when I was 19'.
That's a great idea WoH. A lot of older artists seem to be doing that now, like Leonard Cohen. "Old ideas" and "You Want It Darker".

I'm not sure people would want to buy that from Meat, because his fan base has always represented eternal youth. So I like the older take on the younger songs, because the older Meat gets, the more of an "eternal youth" feeling I find while listening to him sing Steinman's material with his own twist on it.
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Old 07 Nov 2016, 18:57   #14
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because his fan base has always represented eternal youth.
You're right, but his actual voice doesn't represent eternal youth at all.
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Old 07 Nov 2016, 20:54   #15
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Originally Posted by White of High View Post
I understand the story behind the album. My question is: why a 69 years old artist wants to play a 19 years old kid? In 2016 Robert de Niro won't be Romeo and Diane Keaton won't be Juliette, and it's fair enough. Braver Then We Are is indulging in nostalgia and a romance of youth what doesn't work to me at all.

I would be happier with an album with how to became old, what is the feeling of aging, and maybe one song about 'when I was 19'. I know Jim doesn't write songs anymore so it's impossible. Because of this I find this album as a bunch of old demos with a forced and unnecessary storyline.
As has been said your interpretation is yours to have, the one thing I would say is why would a 69 year old NOT want to play a 19 year old in essence. Unless you have heard Meat's interviews, no one would know the 19 thing. Meat conjures characters, and it just happened that what he conjured in this work was a 19 year old. I'm sure in an audio drama, De Nero could nail Romeo...so to speak.

That's still the crux of it. Meat says himself, he is an actor not a singer. Over the years you've had loads of younger actors playing old men, just as you've had older actors able to do voice overs for young characters (or with CGI actually appear as a younger character).

I'm not really sure how a "when i was 19" type song would work in Meat's context. I think that part has been covered by many of Jim's songs already in a less obvious way than doing something like Sinatra's When I Was 17 and catagorising years. I don't think Meat sits well with putting himself in such a labelled box. But, that's just me.
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