Patrick Judy Reviews the dangers & other projects
The Dangers, “Why We LOng To Stay” (2019)
'Why We Long To Stay' is the 11th album by The Dangers and an emotional follow-up to last year's 'Dreamtime'. It features stories about trying to hold onto something, whether it be a lost love, a current love or the good times. It also features stories about living each day to the fullest because, "Everyday Is Borrowed Time". I love the fact that the band recorded most of the album together live. I feel that that makes for tighter and more cohesive performances because the stakes are higher recording this way. Everyone must be at their best and no one can make a mistake without the whole band having to go back and re-record the song.
Here are my thoughts on each song.
"Motor On" (This opening track is a rocker that would be great to drive down the highway to. I love the drum fills and the guitar tone that sounds like a train whistle off in the distance. This is about not letting go of a lost love who has moved on and remembering better times with them. The train sound I mentioned reminds me that one's feelings, like a train, cannot easily stop.)
"Fifteen Strong (Campout Song)" (I like the way the song begins with a quiet wind and builds with each instrument joining in, one by one. All of the instruments compliment each other nicely.
This song is about the annual Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout music festival which took place over the past 15 years at Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace in Pioneertown, California. I am thankful to have been a part of this event. The song is bittersweet in the fact that Campout is over. However, the line: "We can start this show right up again" brings hope that a new event will be born where we can all get together in the future. The song fades out with the lonely wind that began it, marking the end of one chapter, but not the end of everything.
I love how Chris references Johnny Hickman in the song with the lines "Saw my friend and Danger" and "When we hit the chorus Song About the Rain". Before Cracker, Johnny was in The Dangers and "Another Song About the Rain" is a song that they collaborated on.)
"Sad Emotion" (There are some nice drum fills and keys in this one. I took this one to be a love song about convincing someone to let go of some sad event or wrongdoing in the past by forgiving and moving on. The narrator just wants to know if they are going to move on with or without them.)
"Why I Long to Stay" (I really like organ sound of the keys and the guitar solo and effects on this. This seems to be the opposite of "Sad Emotion" in that some wrongdoing was done to the narrator. They are having a hard time dealing with it, but they still are in love and not going to give up. Instead, they are going to find a way to forgive because they have been through so much together. They can talk about everything because they know each other so well. The organ kicking in towards the in brings a feeling a hope that things may be rough now, but things will somehow work out.)
"Every Day Is Borrowed Time" (The bass and drums really shine here with a steady beat. This is a love song. I may be way off on this, but I feel like the narrator has a job or choice that keeps them away from their lover. Maybe they are a touring musician. They are trying to make their lover understand that that is really what they want to do in their life and that it will all pay off soon for both of them. They don't want to be like everybody else who has an ordinary job and be unhappy because life is short and every day is borrowed time. They narrator wants both his choice and his love.)
"Here Before" (This is a nice blues-rock number. The keys and drums compliment each other nicely. I also like the backing vocals and guitar solo and the funky sound to the guitar near the end. This is another love song about a couple with struggles. They have some issues that seem to be unsurmountable now, but they have been together so long and have always worked things out. The narrator reminds his lover of this by saying it is "hard to remember that we have been here before", but everything has always worked out. It is also emphasized at the end of the song to take time and live each day to the fullest.)
"A Good Day" (I love hearing the vocals being shared between Chris, Ralph and Mike and the vocal harmonies together. I also enjoyed the guitar solo. The song has a simple message. Live and enjoy the good moments because there will be bad ones too. Make the most of every day and live life it to the fullest.)
"Angels" (This is a nice rocker. I love the guitar work and the way the organ has a religious tone to it like the organ in The Beatles' song "Let It Be". I also like how the microphone has an echo to it. It gives it an otherworldly feel. This is another song I could be wrong about. It seems to be about the singer seeing or feeling angels from Heaven and wondering why they are there. Strange things have happened, but it is a mystery. There is one other possible meaning. When The Dangers performed this song at Campout, Chris said, "You're my angels." or "You are all my angels.". So, he could be referring to us, the audience.)
"There's A Light" (I love how the opening sounds like it is being played on a pedal steel. There is also a nice guitar solo. This is a song about change. It is a difficult change, but there is hope. Do not give up and do not despair. The song's crescendo in the last minute emphasizes this hope.)
"Valentine" (The keys and drums really shine here. This is a nice, soft, love song. The narrator professes his love to his Valentine. He says that the world may try to keep them apart, but that they should endure in spite of it. Just close their eyes and have faith in him. His Valentine will see that he is right.)
"Remain" (The keys, drums and bass really compliment each other on this one. This is another song about love and hope. The message is simple. The narrator has made some mistakes, but has hope that his love will remain. Even if the world is falling apart, our love will endure. "We can remain".)
This wraps up my thoughts on 'Why We Long To Stay". I had to guess at some of the song meanings, but I hope I was not too far off. I have really enjoyed this album and look forward to album #12. That is my favorite number. Until then.