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Verse Chorus Verse: Blind Melon – “Galaxie”

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I'm one of maybe four people who can name a song by Blind Melon that didn't feature that little bee girl in the video.  I'm not sure that's something you want to brag about at parties, except I don't really go to parties and if I did I'd be more likely to spend my time drinking and complaining about what is being played rather than boasting of my knowledge of the Blind Melon.

I liked their self-titled debut and yes, I found "No Rain" damn catchy the first 100,000 times it was played and I swore I never wanted to hear it again some time after that.  When their follow-up Soup was released, I quickly scooped it up despite its poor-to-middling reviews.  As it turns out, I think the critics and I both had a point.  It wasn't a stunning success as a record but the mess of a record wasn't without its charms.  Years later, I still bob my head and sway back and forth whenever I hear "Galaxie" and I pretty much make an appointment to listen to it a few times per year.

"Galaxie" isn't a startlingly original work but there's something charming about its unapologetic retro sound.  The song opens with a charging '70s riff with lead singer Shannon Hoon murmuring the lyrics, heading into the bridge when the guitars are choked and tart.  Rather than exploding into a cacophony of noise, they pull back for the chorus and bring out the hippy sway and shake with a melodic lead guitar line following Hoon's screechy, tuned wail creating sublime 60's-styled harmonies.

The cluttered Soup record seems, in retrospect, to be in no small part the product of a cluttered mind.  Sadly, Shannon Hoon wasn't able to overcome the addictions that plagued him and Soup would be the last full-length record he would record.  Originality was never going to be his calling card but I can't help feeling there were a lot more interesting messes for him to make and it's sad he isn't here to make them.  

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