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.

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

toggle caption 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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