Your Blue Room

Originally planned as the second Passengers single in early 1996, “Your Blue Room” was quickly pulled and instead given a slight degree of profile by appear on the Best Of 1990-2000‘s bonus disc. That still rendered it the second most well-known Passengers track, however, which is a deserved reputation. Like all the most successful songs on OS1, “Your Blue Room” evokes a sense of place very effectively, the organ (the key part of this song, rising and falling like a steady breathing pattern. That said, the use of a funereal tone such as an organ may be a part of a “little death” pun of the sort cropping up in “Love Is Blindness”) looping throughout the song’s five and a half minutes, choral vocals, gentle bass, calming textures and pattering beat all suggesting the titular blue room. Obviously the blue room is not an actual room, more a state of mind during sexual activity. Knowing the song’s about sex can render some of the previously poetic lyrics a little ugly, such as And time is a string of pearls, which sounds like a withdrawal-method reference similar to that which might be in “Acrobat”. Yet the song is also remarkable in actually making its subject somewhat dignified, with its key metaphor of sex being a communication of sorts (It’s a different kind of conversation/In your blue room).

“Your Blue Room” is also unusual in featuring a heavy, twanging guitar, but it only enters right at the end, when the song, whilst largely carrying on similarly in a musical sense, suddenly alters in a wider one. Said guitar comes in with a slightly jittering line, and heavy gravitas of an Oxford accent enters with its enigmatic monologue – Zooming in, zooming out/Nothing I can’t do without. It’s a monologue of utter peace, having to even emphasise that peace through the lines No car alarm/No cellular phone, and then through the song fading out and into a track that starts with a fadein. For a few brief seconds, the listener is left in silence, given an impression of sorts of that feeling.

Overall, then, a highlight of Passengers’ short existance, and a deserved inclusion on that second Best Of. That it happens to be one of the more conventional songs from OS1 doesn’t harm it, either, because it has its quirks in the way the musical and lyrical structures (or even lyrics, for that matter – the looping of the organ line tying in with the yearning for return) seem to work together without following one another – the music takes on a slow development where the lyrics operate a verse-chorus pattern. Ethereal, shimmering, and brilliant.


~ by 4trak on September 10, 2008.

One Response to “Your Blue Room”

  1. The whole Passengers project made so much more sense to me, after having read Bill Flanagan’s excellent book, “At the End of the World.” The entire process of being anonymous fueled a creative brilliance that seems to have grown more out of their stance on Bosnia and the European end of ZOO TV, than any philosophical rendering on TV or mass media dervish.

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