JAMIESON – Complete
Slow on the uptake as ever, this song only really grabbed me when I heard it being played in Next. Is there something about retail outlet sound-systems that makes great pop stand out? The acoustics? The relief from the horror of clothing stores? But, as the old copy of Heat I was reading while waiting for my carry-out in DIY Thai at the end of our street on Sunday points out, Complete is indeed a deeply strange track. Itseem to be happening at three different speeds at once — twangy half Dido / half Chilli Peppers-on-benolyn guitar figure; r&b schmaltz vocals; and drum and bass-lite backing track. What I’d thought at first was just another
For once, the words are as fractured as the music: ‘complete’ seems to be both the fulfillment of the romantic dyad (I am complete now I have you) and its total evacuation through isolation (having lost you I am now complete (self-sufficient) again), all at the same time. To be ‘complete’ seems to be subtracted from the push-and-pull of desire and (possible) rejection: but whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be decided. And there’s a strong suggestion (to me, anyway) that this is a song from beyond the grave: the singer is complete because at rest, enchanted to a stone, and now forever ‘locked inside your mind’. Completion is both offered up to and withheld from the listener, just as the song’s languour and urgency don’t alternate (slow / fast / slow / fast) so much as collide.