Nerina Pallot - "Fires" and "Geek Love"
Although Nerina Pallot's "Everybody's Gone To War" insists, "Don't tell me it's a worthy cause/No cause could be so worthy", Pallot believes there are times when military intervention is appropriate. She names World War II, Bosnia, and Rwanda as worth risking lives. Pallot calls the song "anti this war".
She has been called "brave" for taking a stand against the Iraq War, but it's hardly a shocking, seldom-voiced viewpoint.
It's a viewpoint I share, but I find the track a shade too self-righteous and overwrought ("I don't want to die"?). The song's breezy catchiness is such a stark contrast to the lyrics, the whole thing ends up feeling overly calculated to produce a Pop Hit. The wacky food-fight-in-a-grocery-store video doesn't do much to change that perception. But maybe the merciless pelting of Pallot (Pallot-pelting?) with assorted food products after she strikes a Christ-on-the-cross pose will convince some people that the Iraq War in particular is wrong, or at best, kinda unfair.
"Everybody's Gone To Die" is the first single from Fires, which was first released last April, but, alas, failed to set the world afire. It's having better luck this time.
The album is heavy on songs about leaving, driving, roads, home, and, naturally, fires. Her lyrics are sometimes quite lovely and evocative. They're also unusually literate for a record this mainstream-friendly, for instance sneaking in a reference to Phaedrus here, a play on an Ayliffe quote there, and mentioning "cumulus nimbus" clouds instead of thunderstorm clouds.
Pallot reminds me a bit of Nellie McKay on her cheekier songs, such as the infectious "Geek Love". Other standouts include the wistful "Idaho" ("I don't want to fall asleep and watch my life from fifty feet/My hands are on the wheel so I'm driving to Idaho") and "Damascus", which is beautiful and hopefully will not get a video shot in an ice cream parlor or in a mall.
Nerina Pallot - Geek Love (available on Fires)
Nerina Pallot - "Everybody's Gone To War" video