As he has now accomplished many times before, world-weary BJ Barham, lyricist and leader of the red, white & blue-chip Americana band American Aquarium, has been able to craft an astute, intuitive line, or in this case a full chorus, that just nails the target. This one’s in his jangly new single ‘All I Needed’ (off the soon-to-be-released album Chicamacomico), and it’s a bit of a meta concept, in that it’s a song in which BJ recounts his reaction to listening to a song. The sentiment is exceedingly simple, but no less spot on; what music lover and citizen of the world, particularly our current one, hasn’t had a revelatory moment that could relate to this:
It’s a time, it’s a place
A lyrical sucker-punch to the face
I was runnin’ on empty and life was really gettin’ me down
It was a hook, it was a line
It was a savior in three quarter time
I was out there losing my mind
When all I needed was a song
I was feeling more than a bit down just this week when I first heard it, and sure enough it perked me right the hell up. Try it for yourself.
So, what would you call it when you get a euphoric, exultant feeling from listening to a song, and that song is about a guy getting that same feeling from listening to a song? It may seem like some kind of a musical funhouse mirror, but I guess you could just call it the power of rock and roll. An emotional revival is never far away. All that’s needed is a song.