The Eerie Relief of Sam Amidon

The gentle, affable, bewildering young folkie banters bizarrely, covers R. Kelly beautifully

"Relief," indeed, is almost ludicrously optimistic, its chorus pairing the phrase "What a relief to know that" with somewhat dubious assertions: We are one, war is over, there's an angel in the sky, love is still alive. To this end, as we help him sing the stirring, delicately crescendoing chorus at his insistence, Amidon offers a few quick asides:

What a relief to know that
We are one
What a relief to know that
War is over (that's not true)
What a relief to know that
There's an angel in the sky
(that's debatably true)
What a relief to know that
Love is still alive

We all crack up, but we all somehow start to believe it, too. Goes without saying, of course, that we also demand an encore.

Marching to a different strummer
Julia Staples
Marching to a different strummer

rharvilla@villagevoice.com

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