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Vote
Last Soldier 33%  33%  [ 22 ]
Army Reserve 59%  59%  [ 39 ]
Can't Decide 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Other 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 66
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 Post subject: #17 The Best...song about coping with loved ones at war
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:00 pm 
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Last Solider vs. Army Reserve



Last Soldier
My number's up
My time has come
Sounds like they're playin' my song
On the altar, my picture...
Will be there while i'm gone

There'll be time for laughin'
There's no time to cry
Soon i will be leavin'
Look me in the eye

No matter what's in front of me
It's your face that i'll see
And the future of our young ones
Yeah this is what fuels me
There's no time for laughin'
There's no time to cry
Soon i will be leavin'
Look me in the eye

The oath i took not so seriously
The world's gathered steam and caught up with me
And my decision's been made, from some other place
By someone i don't know and they don't know me

This is no time for laughin'
There's no time to cry
Soon i will be leavin'
Look me in the eye

Army Reserve
How long must she stand
Before the ground, it gives way
To an endless fall
She can feel this
War on her face
Stars on her pillow
Folding in darkness
Begging for slumber

I'm not blind
I can see it coming
Looks like lightning
In my child's eye

I'm not frantic
I can feel it coming
Violently shakes
My body

Her son's slanted
Always giving her
The sideways eye
An empty chair where dad sits
How loud can silence get?
And mom, she reassures
To contain him
But it's becoming a lie

She tells herself
And everyone else
Father is risking
His life for our freedoms

I'm not blind
I can see it coming
Looks like lightning
In my childs eye

I'm not frantic
I can feel it coming
Darling you'll save me
If you save yourself



Previous The Best…
1.existential album closer
2. failing love song
3.seize the day song
4. anti-war song
5. song for unrequited love
6. song for a father
7. guitar solo
8. song about getting away
9.political call to arms
10. song for a blown love
10. Surf Song
11. Song about religious faith
12. song to define the band
13. search for personal contenment
14. song about being in love
15.song about temptation
16. song about coping with death

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Last edited by stip on Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:01 pm 
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This is very close. Two very well crafted songs

Last Soldier first. The stripped down, folksy quality to the music works well with the subject matter. The song is about trying to forestall panic, to make light of a world shattering event (getting called up to go to war). The singer is trying to relax his loved ones and too much tension in the music would undermine that. Instead the tension needs to be subtle, and is delivered nicely through the lyrics

I’m not sure if Mike wrote the lyrics too (I’m guessing this is Ed) but whoever did really penned a powerful song. What I really love is the sense of calm amidst rising pressure. The singer has no control over what’s happening to him, and is trying to resign himself to his fate (my number’s up, my time has come, sound’s like their playing my song) and suppress the frustration and sense of powerlessness (and my decision’s been made from some other place by someone I don’t know and they don’t know me / not taking the oath to enlist so seriously, thinking that he’d never actually have to leave) for the benefit of their loved one(s). Instead the focus is on privileging those last few moments together. The fear and the sadness can come later. What really matters is right now, because as soon as it is gone all that is left is the picture on the alter (a slightly more foreboding image in the aftermath of World Wide Suicide).

From the moment I heard it I looked at Army Reserve as a sequel to last solider. LS was sung from the perspective of the solider. Army Reserve bounces back and forth between the solider and the family left behind. Musically this song is one of the best things to come off of avocado. It twists in on itself and creates fantastic tension without ever actually getting melodramatic, and colors the song perfectly. And the lyrics that Ed wrote are just fantastic. The way the woman barely holds herself together, trying to be strong for the sake of her children who miss their father and resent his absence. In particular the desperate way she also tries to convince herself that her husband’s absence has value is moving. It is some of the most pointed political commentary on S/T, and works so well because it is so subtle. She HAS to believe that he is fighting for a cause, even though the tone of the song makes it clear that this is something she is forced to convince herself of, not something that comes natural. The tragedy is that the sacrifice is not one that has value or needed to be made.

Where the song falls apart a bit for me is with the chorus, the part written by Echols. I make sense of it by shifting the perspective to the husband thinking about the possibility of his upcoming death (I see it as an immediate, life flashing before the eyes moment but it doesn’t have to be) and trying desperately to focus on his memories of his child. But it doesn’t quite work. There is something slightly awkward about the delivery that takes me out of the song. I’m not quite sure what it is Ed does a great job vocally with this song during the verses, conveying the worried desperation and false confidence of the wife/mother beautifully. It is impossible not to feel what she is feeling. But even though there is passion during the chorus it somehow feels a bit rote. He is injecting it because he thinks it should be passionate, but there isn’t genuine feeling there, or at least, it doesn’t match the feel of the song.

This is a very tough call. Lyrically they both are excellent, and Eddie does a great job on both. Musically Army Reserve is stronger, but it also has that troublesome chorus. I think I’m going to vote can’t decide for the first time



Also, World Wide Suicide is not included here since it is about someone coping with the known death of a solider. These two songs deal more with the anxiety of having loved ones away and not knowing what is happening to them.

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The perfect gift for certain occasions


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Army Reserve is probably my favorite PJ song of this decade, so AR it is.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Last Soldier because the lyrics are more vague. I'm from a country that doesn't go to war, so I don't really need these songs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:04 pm 
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Angus wrote:
Last Soldier because the lyrics are more vague. I'm from a country that doesn't go to war *, so I don't really need these songs.


* anymore

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"Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference."--FDR

The perfect gift for certain occasions


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:22 pm 
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I always thought of Come Back as a song about someone dealing with a soldier away at war, but that's just my personal interpretation. I went with Army Reserve, but I really don't love either of these songs. I was at the Bridge show when they played Last Soldier and I Am Mine for the first time and I remember thinking that I'd much rather see them put out I Am Mine on a record than Las Soldier. Army Reserve is good, but it desperately needs a bridge or at least another verse. It just feels unfinished to me. I know there are people here that absolutely love both of these songs so I am eager to see what they have to say.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:24 pm 
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Last Soldier. That second verse just brings about so much emotion in me; I couldn't imagine having to be in the narrator's frame of mind. I won't go into too much detail -- I'm saving that for when it's the SOTM.

I like Army Reserve but it just doesn't compare.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:29 pm 
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I just read the lyrics to Last Soldier and they are fantastic. Still not sold on the actual song though.

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I waited all day
you waited all day
but you left before sunset
and I just wanted to tell you
that the moment was beautiful
just wanted to dance to bad music
drive bad cars
watch bad tv
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:06 am 
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I've never heard Last Soldier. :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:24 am 
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mike wrote either the verse and ed wrote the chorus, or vice versa.

Last soldier is a great tune and is a little bit more eloncholy and sad where as Army reserve has a bit more bitterness and anger.

Ill go with last soldier, raelly captured the feelings post 9/11 as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:56 am 
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pearljamfan80 wrote:
I've never heard Last Soldier. :?
I can send it to you if you'd like. :)

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I waited all day
you waited all day
but you left before sunset
and I just wanted to tell you
that the moment was beautiful
just wanted to dance to bad music
drive bad cars
watch bad tv
should have stayed for the sunset
if not for me


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:59 am 
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BadRadio16 wrote:
pearljamfan80 wrote:
I've never heard Last Soldier. :?
I can send it to you if you'd like. :)


this would be much appreciated. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:08 am 
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What's the best way for me to send it to you?

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I waited all day
you waited all day
but you left before sunset
and I just wanted to tell you
that the moment was beautiful
just wanted to dance to bad music
drive bad cars
watch bad tv
should have stayed for the sunset
if not for me


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:08 am 
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BadRadio16 wrote:
What's the best way for me to send it to you?


PM

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:33 am 
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I love both of these songs, lyrically both are excellent, musically AR is better (it has that crowded house quality about it) and the delivery, in both, from Ed is great.

My vote goes to Last Soldier, just.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:39 am 
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i've never heard last soldier, and although i admire the lyrics of army reserve, musically it does absolutely nothing for me and i have always considered it one of the weak points of avocado.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:59 am 
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light_years62103 wrote:
i've never heard last soldier, and although i admire the lyrics of army reserve, musically it does absolutely nothing for me and i have always considered it one of the weak points of avocado.


you stole my answer!! :P
anyone willing to hook me up with Last Soldier?? I'd greatly appreciate it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:44 am 
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For all of those who don't have Last Soldier: if you go to the songbook section of TSIS and look up Last Soldier you can get the live MP3 from there.

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I waited all day
you waited all day
but you left before sunset
and I just wanted to tell you
that the moment was beautiful
just wanted to dance to bad music
drive bad cars
watch bad tv
should have stayed for the sunset
if not for me


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:50 am 
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last soldier is the reason i bought a capo and started playing the harmonica...among other things

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:33 pm 
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Army Reserve just isn't good to me

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