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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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July 23 2009

Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon's "Remains" Available From iTunes! Those who would not, could not download the song that closes "Epitaph One" from Amazon now have an alternative.

Yay! Just bought it. What a beautiful song.
Maurissa seeks reviews.

Careful what you wish for:

You know how at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season two you hear Sarah McLachlan sing "Full of Grace" while the Slayer's heart shatters into a million shards of pain? This is like that, but with more pain and self-loathing (hey, Whedon show!) and a closer thematic link to the show it graces, Dollhouse.

The structure's kind of awesome. It starts out like an ending (listen to it, you'll hear what I mean) (since I can't explain it) resolving the melody before introducing it. The "Remains," of course, are what's left after the end of a life, and this is one of the ways the song ties in with the show's structure, since we meet the main characters after their lives have been erased from their memories. If the ending of Buffy season two is about what you have left after you've lost everything in your life (Buffy famously replies, "Me!") Dollhouse is about what's left after you've lost everything you remember of your life. What "Remains" when all the markers of identity (your name, your relationships, your history) are gone?

"Remains" confronts the desperate appeal of blanking your own slate: "Burn down my home/My memory's hardened into brightest chrome." (Maybe it's, "My memory's hard as brightest chrome" or "My memory's hardened and bright as chrome"--the lyrics aren't out yet, and I had some dreams, they were clowns in my coffee.) "Every mistake seems to be caught on tape," so the post-Watergate fancy turns to thoughts of erasure. The singer imagines "baptizing down to the pains," evoking a major theme of the show: spiritual rebirth.

The show compares and contrasts characters trying to escape from the pain of their personal histories and trying to heal it, and the listener must wonder where the singer lies on that continuum of self-annihilation and self-recreation. The song suggests both yearnings to be, emotionally, not all that different.

ETA crucial, sense-making word.

[ edited by Pointy on 2009-07-23 20:06 ]

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