Friday, 9 January 2015

Ash 'A Life Less Ordinary'

Chart Peak: 10

Taken from the cool new movie of the same name, 'A Life Less Ordinary' peaked at No. 10... This is the first single to feature new band member Charlotte Hatherley.

It's been mentioned already, but this seemed the best place to refer to the film of A Life Less Ordinary, not only because this is the title song but because I discussed Trainspotting a couple of posts ago and the former was certainly promoted at the time as a sort of follow-up to the latter. It's obviously not a sequel - though one of those is planned for next year - but it's the same director (Danny Boyle) and the same leading man (our old friend Ewan McGregor), both presumably paid a lot more money this time around having established themselves. I never saw the film myself, but I understand from reviews that it was a lesser work.

Still, after the success of the Trainspotting soundtrack it was inevitable that the soundtrack album for this movie would also be a key part of the promotion, featuring big names like R.E.M., Prodigy and the Cardigans as well as another hit single (and personal favourite of mine) 'Deadweight' by Beck. It was apparently at Danny Boyle's personal insistence that Ash got the title song gig, although it must be said that the connection isn't actually that obvious, since the title isn't mentioned in the lyric. Apparently the song is actually about Tim Wheeler's search for the muse: thus the lyric "Put on your dress white goddess" (not, as I once thought "wankers", nor as others claimed "wipe that ass"), and presumably that's also why he claims to "smoke himself into a haze in the afternoon". It's an interesting idea, but like a lot of Ash's records it ends up sounding a bit tentative, something seeming unfinished in the production; indeed the song has been re-mixed several times since its initial release. Wheeler's vocal is, as has often been the case, rather on the vague side as well. It adds up to one of several Ash singles that are decent rather than brilliant, and it's a pity none of the truly classic ones ever made it to a Now album.

Available on: The Best Of Ash (Remastered)

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