FIRST LISTEN: Paper Airplane Alison Krauss & Union Station
As the crystalline queen of understatement, Alison Krauss has wandered the chambers of the human heart now for two decades, weaving the always fragile fabric of emotions with a haunted, shimmering quality and perfectly played notes. Grace? Excellence? Absolutely. But what has been her benchmark is the way she can get virtuoso musicians to restrain and press at the same time, creating a tension that lifts those words up.
Jerry Douglas with the circles of burning notes, a turning wheel of heat that elevates drama while anchoring melodies with a sense of strength. Dan Tyminski’s mandolin feathering out the edges of whatever emotion is being dealt, creating not a soft place to fall, but more an invitation to draw closer.
For “Paper Airplane,” the just posted track from AKUS’ April 12 project, there is mostly the doubt in the wreckage made. Futility infuses the beauty, failure informs the beauty of the desolation. This is a song of love unresolved, a gorgeous notion of how much the very last gasps and spasms of “getting over” a love can be.
Always one to sing adult songs — even as a teenage fiddle sensation, Krauss has come into a nuance and a falter that imbues a deeper truth to what she sings. Like Richard and Linda Thompson’s SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS, she’s not afraid to put it out there — the raw hurt, the doubt and even the knowing the fatal truth. For any grown-up who felt like a kid, only to have the rug pulled out from under them, this is a song to get you through those painful nights you’re sure you won’t survive. “Paper Airplane” is that friend who truly understands…
here’s a taste of the lyrics:
people come together
people go their own way
love conquers few
i’ll do whatever
i’ll say what i need to say
just not for you…
my love is like a paper airplane
flying in the folded wind
riding high, dippin low
but innocence is fair game,
i’m hoping i can hold it in
our love will die, i know