NPR logo A 'Time' for Sweetly Subtle Devastation

A 'Time' for Sweetly Subtle Devastation

'Take Some Time' by Rose Melberg

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Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Take Some Time"
  • Artist: Rose Melberg
  • CD: Cast Away the Clouds
  • Genre: Folk-Pop

Even when she was singing in the poppy punk band Tiger Trap, Rose Melberg had a flair for sad, gentle melodies. During a career evolution that's taken her through stints as leader of Go Sailor and the appropriately named Softies — and on into her sweetly whispery solo work — those melodies have only gotten sadder and gentler.

Rose Melberg, whose whispery music has gotten sadder and gentler. Gayle Nicholson hide caption

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Gayle Nicholson

As lovely and bittersweet as "Take Some Time" gets, it's Nick Krgovich's sly minor-key piano line that grants the song its status as a major-league tearjerker. Melberg doesn't hide her emotions to begin with — "Just let me take a trip someplace / where no one knows my sad, sad face" — as she piles on bittersweet vocal harmonies. But the elegant plinking of Krgovich's piano propels an otherwise straightforward lament into the realm of the sublime.

"There was once a time when all I wanted was to just be by your side," she sings, adding, "Now that's all but died." There's enough pathos there to support a hundred ballads, but in spite of all those tiny but devastating flourishes, "Take Some Time" never sounds overwrought: It surveys miles of emotional wreckage, yet the scene it sets seems oddly sweet.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Cast Away the Clouds
Rose Melberg

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