366 Songs 136: 80s Life

There’s a lovely wistfulness in “80s Life,” in large part from the vocals (especially the swooping “ooooooh”s that start at 1:25) and the yawning melancholy in lines like “I don’t wanna live a war/That’s got no end in our time” and “Oh, Lord, can a stone/Be ballast for an aching soul?” But the arrangement behind the voices is wonderfully sweet, not ’80s in sound at all – something older, almost doo-woppy – and sparse, tentative and makes the song into the beautifully fragile thing that is ultimately is… especially as the song slowly climbs the stair towards the sleep of its end. I really, really appreciate the mixed emotions this song brings out of me, protectiveness, happiness and caution all at once.