GrooveLily: "Are We There Yet?"
Release date: August 26, 2003
The ancient Chinese curse puts it this way: May you live in interesting times. Well, the times are nothing if not interesting these days. Whether it's military turmoil, techno-economic crises in the music business, or just building an individual career in a wary economy, it's hard to imagine times more "interesting" than the days we traverse with each successive sunrise and sunset.
GrooveLily threads through the core of this tense nerve-wire, resonating with the energy of its vibrations, amplifying, focusing and projecting it out into the world in broadband resolution. With songs whose themes apply both globally and intimately, musicianship that spills out like the instant pudding in Woody Allen's Sleeper, and freshly nuanced songwriting defying this age of formulaic pop, Are We There Yet? is the child of creative collaboration at its peak. Throughout the album the music is sharp, powerful, masterful, mature and relentlessly catchy.
It remains unfathomable how this degree of explosive talent has not yet hit the big time, except by indicting the dogmatic channels of the celebrity-driven marketplace. With almost a full decade riding the roller-coaster road underneath the star radar, there is no independent band that is more ready to break big than GrooveLily. It should have happened a long, long time ago.
Many of the tunes on this album reflect the manic-depressive experience of struggle and breakthrough, crestfallen regret and resolute hope, in the face of towering challenges. "Rewind" begins by appealing to science fiction for a second pass at life. "Live Through This (Are We There Yet?)" insists that "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" while "This Is Going To Stop" insists equally that resolution will ultimately be inevitable, whether it entails a breakthrough or abandonment. "Apocalyptic Love Song (I Don't Care)" is about infatuation so powerful it threatens the fundamental order of life simply to experience the current moment. These are not fluffy little love songs -- they plunge the knife into your marrow and twist it a bit just to make sure you don't ignore them. Life is lived deeply here, not simply waltzed through with accessories and window dressing.
Not that irony is avoided -- "Diva Girl" is a hilarious deadpan account of a 30-something obsessed with a teen diva, simultaneously seduced by her goddess image while ridiculing the shallowness of her music and his own pipe dreams of meeting her. It's no wonder that this band can't bend to meet the star system on anything but their own terms. Bless 'em.
Trying to find the path into the limelight will never be a systematic process, and this trio-plus-cohorts has made the tough choices all the way through. But to walk away from their creative integrity would be pointless. The standard hooks (explicit glam and outrageous spectacle) may not fit them, but maybe the real hook is that they are genuine where the glitterati are false and hollow.
This is a band with staying power. Just let 'em in the door, and they'll set up camp for the duration.