“There’s a thin line between pleasure and pain / There’s a thin line between ecstasy and going insane.” Those are lyrics from “Touch by Touch,” the fifth track (of 14) off Marty Dread’s latest, It Sometimes Rains in Paradise (released Jan. 31, 2012). Its lyrics like these which make me want to tell Marty, “I feel you, bro! It’s a fine line indeed!” And I appreciate how that sentiment relates, metaphorically, to “it sometimes rains in paradise.” But literally, it’s really been coming down hard this last week… So of course (not unlike on drier occasions), I spent a lot of those indoor hours browsing Facebook timelines–grooving to music, like I always do–puzzling over posts about Anna Nicole and crack. Yep. Pretty typical night. See, rain or shine, I love nothing more than the relaxing, brainlessness of Facebook creeping. But on one of those rainy nights, Facebook just didn’t seem as relaxing or brainless as usual, and I I found myself frustrated. Just what the hell was going on? Finally, I tried turning the volume down on my tunes. Like, WAY down. Voila! My mind was suddenly at ease. My concentration quickly cleared and I just felt better all-around–even in all this rain. Now here’s where this all comes together… Indeed, there’s a thin line between pleasure and pain, and It Sometimes Rains is proof positive. Don’t get me wrong. From booze cruises to bar performances I’ve enjoyed–with great pleasure–the no-mo’-slippah soljah, Marty Dread. But this album around, mute is my pleasure. Otherwise, I’m not saying that my ears are necessarily in pain. I can’t deny that songs like “She Don’t Know” and “Must Be A Change” are skank worthy bar jams (i.e. “skank” as in the skip-in-place dance move–not the other kind often lurking at bars). Which brings up the question of whether I’m really in ecstasy or just going insane? Actually, don’t answer that.
It Sometimes Rains in Paradise
(Five Corners Music; 2012)
All albums reviewed in this space are available at Maui’s only record store, Requests (10 N. Market St., Wailuku, 244-9315)