“Fake Palindromes” is a song in which some of the early lines have that same kind of not-quite-sensical quality that most palindromes have. Very clever, as always. Near the end of it, when Bird sweetly sings:
And she says I like long walks and sci-fi movies
If you’re six foot tall and east coast bred
Some lonely night we can get together
You really don’t expect the next lines to be:
And I’m gonna tie your wrists with leather
And drill a tiny hole into your head
Oh, I’m gonna drill a tiny hole …
Hearing that the first time is quite an eye-popper. And, he lines up the final line so that the decapitated “head”, were it still attached, would fall on a brief but triumphant bit of finale. It’s a nice trick. To fit the finale, you end up singing that “head”, mentally filling-in what he left off, as an exclamation – “Head!“. Then you feel a little creepy for having happy thoughts while singing about trepanation (“Trepanation” was the name of the song he took this bit from – he likes to dismember and recombine his own songs). One of my favorite musical moments.
“Fake Palindromes” is the high point for me, but there are plenty of other really good songs on this: “Nervous Tic Motion…”, “Opposite Day”, “Sovay”, “Skin Is, My”, etc., etc.. They’re all good, really. But what sets this record apart from his others, is that there’s a little bit of a spark here; a playful, macabre, excited spark. Recent records are good, but they don’t leap out at me the way this does.