Thursday, October 29, 2009

T Party Express: A Wholly Unholy Hallelujah?

The T Party Express is slowing down to smell the roses and examine the thorns.

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is subject to at least as many lyrical interpretations as there are cover versions. The revered recording by the amazing Jeff Buckley is widely considered to be the definitive benchmark. Buckley's world weary, intensely vulnerable vocal exposed the raw nerve of Cohen's Davidic metaphor for a love affair fallen from grace. Buckley's rendition is no hosanna to God.

My American Idol season 7 favorite, Jason Castro, launched a Hallelujah revival by performing it during the 2008 competition, in the season finale, and on a studio recording for the film Amar a Morir. Jason always sings purely from the heart and his is my second favorite version. If he keeps the song in his concert catalog, his interpretation can only improve as the happy-go-lucky troubadour matures and experiences some of adulthood's inevitable disappointments. I sincerely hope that one of those disappointments will not include sales of his eponymously titled debut album on Atlantic Records scheduled for release on January 26, 2010.

Jason describes himself as a Christian and participated in the I Am Second movement to promote faith in Christ as the answer to all life struggles. In his video for the organization, he described his selection of Hallelujah as a special opportunity to praise God, so there is no question that his interpretation was spiritual and not sexual. To keep up with this endearing, budding musical talent, Castrocopia is a whimsical, wonderful website devoted to all things Jason Castro and great music in general.

Previous stops:

Total Recall by the Sound (1985).

Fly by Jars of Clay (2002).

Train in Vain by the Clash (1980).

It's My Life by Talk Talk (1984).

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