From 2002-2004, Paul Westerberg turned into Robert Pollard for a time, releasing five albums worth of material that was ridiculously tuneful as well as totally lo-fi. For his fans, who had been dealing with a relative dearth of overthought material during the major label days, this sudden glut of knocked-right-out music was both overwhelming and overjoyous.
And in the middle of it all was the Come Feel Me Tremble project: a DVD that alternated live performances from his solo tour — including “Unsatisfied” from the Amoeba show I went to! — with new songs from the Come Feel Me Tremble album.
You know how Rust Never Sleeps the album is different from Rust Never Sleeps the film? And how Live Rust the live album was different from Rust Never Sleeps the film? Come Feel Me Tremble was kinda like that, though Paul’s idiosyncrasies were different from Neil’s, so he never put out Live Tremble.
It was a lot to process, and for me, some key songs almost got lost in the process. For example, it took me fifteen years to realize just how great of a song “My Daydream” is. Opening up with Paul calling and responding “come on” over and over again until it reaches an early crescendo, “My Daydream” hides a candy-coated melody underneath a shitload of guitars and drum bashes.
It won’t come true, baby, without you
Ain’t got a chance, baby, without you
Come and seeeeeeeee
Dream with meeeeeee
Tell me everything that you ever wanted
Tell me everything that you want
There’s a turn in the middle of this verse or chorus or whatever in the hell it whenever Paul sings “With meeeeee / Come and seeeeeee / Dream with meeeee” that is pure pop perfection, especially with his “uhhh-hhhh” backing vocals as support.
After the second “come on” build-up, Paul emphasizes the pop in the song with a slide guitar solo that sticks close the melody line — always a thing I love — and after that, he’s content to stick singing “My Daydream” until he decides to end the song.
This is one of the few solo songs that I really wonder what the ‘mats might have done with circa 1985: Bob putting the wrong solo in at the right time; Paul & Tommy alternating the “come ons,” Chris pushing the whole thing forward from start to finish, but of course that’s crazy-making.
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