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Sprinkle's Bareface: Lonesome Lyrics, Flaws and All

  • 2002 27 Feb
Sprinkle's <I>Bareface</I>: Lonesome Lyrics, Flaws and All
Doesn't our culture's celebrity-obsession bug you? Acting, making music, and playing sports are good and honorable pursuits; but it baffles me that so many people seem to care -- let alone know -- about Britney Spears' relationship with Justin Timberlake. And it continues to amaze me how easy it is for some celebrities to build a name simply by being loud.

Bareface, the third solo release from Poor Ol Lu guitarist Aaron Sprinkle, provides an alternative. Sprinkle will probably never be famous: His music doesn't strive to arrest your attention by shouting about how outrageous, hip, or now he is. Rather than push for superstardom, Sprinkle quietly makes quality music that reflects his condition -- flaws and all.

The music is the strongest point of the album: Sprinkle sings with a sensitive voice, creating harmonies that resemble The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. The instrumentation creates simple and catchy tunes that fade in and out, shading the lyrics with a musical atmosphere that's sometimes straightforward and smooth, other times ambient and even a little dissonant.

While the lyrics are competent, they are probably my least favorite part of the album. Most songs, like Sweeter Than Me, deal with disappointment and insecurity, either in the first or second person.

Look up at the floral pattern curtains
In picking them out you were so certain
Now there's indecision in your eyes
You're finding comfort thinking twice

Although the lyrics show a special vulnerability, they often seem aimed at a person I can't quite identify, settling on multiple images that I can't see as a whole (though they sometimes create a potent emotional image) -- a stream-of-consciousness that I can't quite follow.

Despite the lackluster lyrics, Bareface is a great production, even if it doesn't fit into the categories or mindset of the surrounding culture. But if there's no doubt that Bareface isn't exactly now, Lord willing it will be soon.