Member Since: 7/1/2005
Total Mixes: 104
Total Feedback: 228

Other Mixes By abangaku

CD | Rock - Prog-Rock/Art Rock
CD | Theme - Narrative
CD | Mixed Genre
CD | Rock - Prog-Rock/Art Rock

Nothin' On My Tongue But Hallelujah

Artist Song
Jeff Buckley  Hallelujah  
Academy and Chorus of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, cond. Neville Marriner  Hallelujah Chorus 
Dar Williams  Alleluia  
Susan Boyle  Hallelujah  
Emmylou Harris  The Pearl  
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds  Hallelujah 
Straight No Chaser  Hallelujah 
Tom Waits  Eyeball Kid  
Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch  I'll Fly Away 
Leonard Cohen  Hallelujah  
Richard & Linda Thompson  We Sing Hallelujah 


When I posted my mix “The Mighty KRIM” (MixID = 110192) on this site over twelve years ago, it seemed like I was on the brink of a new mixing era. “I think I've got a new way of thinking about making mixes,” I wrote. “I make the mixes that I feel are necessary to hear.… but just making mixes out of fun themes, or whatnot — it might just end up being more trouble than it's worth for something that isn't a solid musical statement.”

Is “Nothin’ On My Tongue But Hallelujah” a solid musical statement, then? Or, is it just a joke?

First things: Tracks 1, 4, 7 and 10 are all versions of the same Leonard Cohen song (no two of which contain the same selection from the song’s seven verses). Doubtless: this mix sprang from an imagined thrill at juxtaposing this acknowledged rock classic with the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, and that transition still sounds like a funny joke to me, when it comes up between tracks 1 and 2 here. I think the first time I heard the concluding Richard & Linda, too, it struck me as exactly *the right* ending song for this fledgling mix idea. But, the proportion of Leonard-Cohen-“Hallelujah” tracks to non-Leonard-Cohen-“Hallelujah” tracks (including track 6, a completely different song written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis) wasn’t determined until years later.

Also, all the tracks that aren’t actually Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” still do feature the word “hallelujah”, or some variant, if not in the title then generally fairly prominently in the lyrics. All in all, it basically seems exactly like the type of fun theme I’d decried back in 2007, yet….

Dare I say, I think I’ve gotten better at making mixes since then? That I’m able to home in on a theme with greater precision than I used to? After all: what is the value of a mix? The glue that makes a group of musical pieces hang together is still mysterious to me. But, one thing I’ve appreciated over my years of mixing, and that features here, I think, is a swinging back and forth in the songs, juxtaposition, contrast. No ambient wash here! So, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus — “And he shall reign for ever and ever, hallelujah” — is rightly followed by Dar Williams’ pocketful of irreverence — “Silly me, you know, I’m only God!”

John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants once defined an irritant as “anything that makes you pay more attention than you want to.” In that sense, then, irritant music is the opposite of ambient music (and also, in that sense, They Might Be Giants’ music — which I love, and which can be pretty funny itself — is plenty irritating). Let “Nothin’ On My Tongue But Hallelujah” be an irritant, then, while I set my sails slowly for ambient waters. An interesting island to dock at for a day!

(The picture is of the ruins of Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was taken by me on my honeymoon.)
image for mix


Date: 10/31/2019
Answer to your question: solid musical statement.