Certain Songs #359: Drive-by Truckers – “Feb. 14”

DBT Blessing Album: A Blessing and a Curse
Year: 2006

The first Drive-by Truckers album of the 2000s to not have The South as the focal point, A Blessing and a Curse has always been — somewhat unfairly — slagged for feeling somewhat half-baked compared to the rest of their stellar catalog.

That said, most bands would kill to kick off one of their weaker albums with a foot-stomping alternate universe hit single like “Feb 14.”

With drummer Brad Morgan double-timing like Charlie Watts in “Live With Me,” “Feb 14” feels as loose and sloppy as the Truckers ever got, almost like Morgan started the beat and they all kinda join in, looking at each other until Patterson Hood “1,2,3, 4s” them into the first verse.

Flowers flying ‘cross the room
Vases smashed against the floor
Said, “I’d rather be alone
Take your chocolates and go home”

Be my valentine
Be my valentine
Be my valentine

Hmm. Not likely, though I guess you can’t blame a guy for trying. No matter how much the hook on the chorus immediately sticks in your head.

In the end, after Hood pleads at the top of his range for a couple more verses, there’s a trumpet solo, buried in the mix. It’s all very spontaneous feeling, like if they’d given too much thought to it, it would have come out completely differently. As Ranjit pointed out, it’s very Replacements-y, which is probably why I love it so much.

“Feb 14” performed live in 2006

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