13 May 2005

pressure drop : david kitt

click here to listen.
listening time: it'll be over before too long

i tried to restrain myself from posting this song but i couldn't help it. it grew on me, and i even had it on repeat in my ipod on my commute to work this morning. to appreciate the song, which is originally by the reggae band toots and the maytals, you have to first know how the more popular versions sound like. there's one by the clash, and another by the specials. (click on the bands' names if you'd like to stream 30-second samples on amazon.)

david kitt's version is what it sounds like when you deliberately overdose your best friend, shock him with extra-strength defibrillators (those electric plates they used in the movie flatliners) and hold him at gunpoint to sing a reggae song as soon as he comes to. an acoustic singer-songwriter from dublin, kitt never claimed that his vocals was his strongest suit. where kitt excels, as he demonstrated in his first two albums, is in his ability to exploit it to infuse every song with just the right amount of emotional disquiet – to make his listeners empathetic, as opposed to sympathetic. when i first heard the song song from hope st. (brooklyn, new york), in which kitt observes the sudden slow-motion of our pace in the winter, i wanted to come over to his apartment and help rearrange his furniture.

kitt's version of pressure drop comes from his fourth album the black and red notebook, made up almost entirely of covers, from r.e.m.'s (don't go back to) rockville to jj cale's magnolia. what kitt has done is sap each song of its passion and render it dry. which is normally a bad thing, but kitt, i'd like to believe, did it deliberately. for what purpose? i have no idea. the album isn't mediocre, just puzzling and oddly jaw-dropping.


  1. Removed, yet penetrating...subtly spoke to me..thank you for posting it.

  2. abs, i am not commenting about the song but about how flatliners comes to my mind as well when i hear/read the word 'defibrillator'. there could be other movies/tv shows [er? chicago hope? grey's anatomy?] that i could think of when i see the word, but it's flatliners that comes to mind.

    we were college freshmen (i am dating ourselves. we are getting old!) when i watched this with a couple of friends. the first line kiefer sutherland delivered got me hooked: 'today, is a good day to die.' how the hell did he know?

    15 years later and i am still watching kiefer. this time on 24's fourth season. finale in two weeks. hehehe.