On ‘Last of the Better Days Ahead‘ Charlie Parr sings with some vitriol of the pointlessness of trying to go back. So, you had a fancy chromed up car in your youth, which you sold and then regretted. As if a car was the answer to the meaning of life: “now you’re in your fifties, why can’t you forget how the chrome bumpers shined in the sun? If you could just go back, even for a minute, you could forget how you don’t even know what it was you’ve lost.”
The song is the title track of Parr’s new album, his first on Smithsonian Folkways. Talking of the album’s intent Parr has explained that “‘Last of the Better Days Ahead’ is a way for me to refer to the times I’m living in. I’m getting on in years, experiencing a shift in perspective that was once described by my mom as ‘a time when we turn from gazing into the future to gazing back at the past, as if we’re adrift in the current, slowly turning around.’ Some songs came from meditations on the fact that the portion of our brain devoted to memory is also the portion responsible for imagination, and what that entails for the collected experiences that we refer to as our lives. Other songs are cultivated primarily from the imagination, but also contain memories of what may be a real landscape, or at least one inspired by vivid dreaming.”
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