These songs have a fresh, un-washed, intimate feeling, as they were recorded in mostly first takes, and few overdubs were used on most songs. I wanted to keep the feeling that I’m playing just for you, in your bedroom or living room, and let the songs speak for themselves. Here’s the song-by-song breakdown:
“Love Believer” – inspired by the designer clothing worn by manga heroine Elie, a girl with no memories in the Rave Master series, this is a tight, charming pop song for love believers everywhere. OK, so there’s some Lou Reed influence there. I can’t help it. Lou is one of my all-time heroes, in the realm of singer-songwriter-guitarists.
“Profound” – “I’m not profound, I’m just writing down what comes in my head / I’m not profound, I’m just killing time until I’m dead.” This tune came together with a simple acoustic guitar riff, a fuzz bass, and a driving drum track providing the one-man power trio backing for a sung-spoken homage to songwriting from the heart. Quite unexpectedly, it came out sounding a little like the Violent Femmes on the final mix.
“Unwind” – Languid rock ballad about welcoming numbness that feels on the verge of breaking out, but I’m so committed to my state of laid-back, unwound, semi-detachment that the song ultimately stays mellow, albeit tense, from start to finish. Lovely.
“1985” – a trip back in time to simpler days (okay, they weren’t really any simpler, just f**ked up in a different kinda way). Jam-worthy rock song with clean electric guitars (reminiscent of early Talking Heads, according to a friend).
“You Didn’t Have To Break My Heart” – Moody, warm, rhythm-infused ballad in which I reminisce on days of a broken heart that might have been avoided. “There was another way, you just didn’t see it.”
“3 Words of Less” – The full title was “Stating The Obvious In Three Words Or Less,” but I decided to go with the short title instead for this whimsical, yet slightly dark, song peopled with characters like the woman with a clipboard counting the words over machines in the Laundromat, and the cop parked next to the local gym (“but that’s not strange, ‘cause it’s adjacent to the donut shop”). We went with minimal production on this track, keeping it to the acoustic guitar, vocal, and shaker.
“Rainbow Brown” – a surreal/nonsense lyric sung with perfect earnestness and feeling. This song is actually about something, believe it or not. Recorded live to digital hard disk in one studio take.
“Hijacker” – Beautiful, haunting, mysterious song about a computer program named “Camper, the dream destination software” and “the hacker who developed a strain of Hijacker” that can hijack your dream. The creepy song lyric is juxtaposed with lovely piano playing by Rick Cuevas and echoed dream vocals for a luxurious trip-worthy experience.
“The Composer” – Of all the tracks on this CD, this one sounds most like the music I do under the name Zru Vogue. It’s got a funky wah-wah bass line, subtle e-bowed guitars, and minimal synths, but the production still focuses on the acoustic guitar and vocal, so it ties in nicely with the rest of the songs on “Memories.” “The Composer is a creator, but he also is a destroyer / He is crouching there in the foyer, struck by a wave of paranoia.”
“Happy Being Normal” – Despite the title, this song is about quite the opposite: “What I’ve got to say is simple, nothing big and formal / I thank your god I’ll never be happy being normal.” My personal favorite on this album, this song sets up a smooth groove at the get-go and never lets it go. My whispered voice adds to the ominous quality that pervades the track, and the computer voice at the end leaves no doubt in your mind that “normal” is not happening here.
A word about the cover art: the title, the cover, and all images used on the cover, as well as the lyrics, were all taken from a single notebook – my personal journal – in fact, the cover is a scan of the inside cover, where I had written “Memories of Things That Never Happened” (before I knew it would be the name of my album).
Andrew L. Jackson