12 O'Clock Track: Glenn Jones, "Show Me"

by

comment

glenn_jones-finesse.jpg84.jpg
Lester Bangs once said that Van Morrison "is interested, obsessed with how much musical or verbal information he can compress into a small space, and, almost, conversely, how far he can spread one note, word, sound, or picture." Can we get real and say the same about Glenn Jones? Is there much to "Show Me"? No, there isn't. But Jones has the same obsession with the texture and variation of a single word as Morrison. And he also shares the same intense focus on inner turmoil. He needs to know. What's the guy gotta do? Show him what he has to do. Come on.

"Show Me" is an ace quiet storm song, a charmingly tacky spectacle that conveys the feeling of walking around in a shop that sells the kind of wiry fluorescent signs you find in aquariums and frozen-yogurt shops. It was written by LaLa Cope, who was a member of Change (one of the greatest and most overlooked disco acts) and also wrote Whitney Houston's "You Give Good Love." The opening keyboard, which Ice Cube expertly sampled on 2000's "Until We Rich," sounds like what might happen if you combined a floor piano with an escalator. The melody is gorgeous, and Jones's singing (he is originally a gospel singer) is strong, never going for glottal bellowing or whiny falsetto. And Jones is supposedly such a novice romantic that he needs to be shown—lord knows how—what he has to do. The song has virtually nothing else to say. It's expert midrange singing about the stupid and simple circumstance of being unsure about whether or not the person you're into feels the same way about you. Many of us have dealt with that situation. Let's just thank Jones for having it take place in a jacuzzi.

Today's 12 O'Clock Track is Glenn Jones's "Show Me," from his 1984 album Finesse, which, if you ask me, should be the title of more people's albums.

Add a comment