“Was a Time” starts out with just him and his guitar. But after the first verse the whole band kicks in and the song really takes off. There’s some harmonica between verses and a big Whoo! before the end of the song. The song is a fun romp, fun to sing along to until you realize the chorus: “there was a time that I loved you / I don’t love you any more.”
He introduces the second song “Good and Ready” and says “we’ll start whenever Derek is… good and ready.” This song sounds very different as it opens with a cool soulful bassline. After that opening the song proper begins with Amato’s acoustic guitar and the electric guitar playing a loud slide guitar riff. This song is a bit more positive, despite the repeated line of I don’t wanna wake up,” the chorus is “I don’t wanna wake up if it ain’t next to you.”
All three of these songs use the same verse style with the first words of every line being repeated over and over. In the first song, every libe starts, “There was a time….” In the second, each line begins “I don’t wanna wake up….” The final song, “Ludlow,” changes things a little bit although each verse stats with the opening “First the… then the….”
I felt a little for his backing vocalist Katy Pinke, because while everyone else is doing things, she’s just standing there occasionally sinking a word or two. Although for “Ludlow” he and Katy sing a quiet duet.
D’Amato writes catchy, rather pleasing songs. I wonder why I haven’t heard of him before.
[READ: July 2, 2016] Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling
Much like I wrote about the first book: I enjoyed this story quite a lot. Cliff’s drawing style which was peculiar but ultimately very satisfying. And more importantly, he tells a great story.
But this book was even more satisfying than the first. I have also changed my opinion of Cliff’s artistic style somewhat in that I think it is really fantastic. It is definitely unusual–realistic but not exactly–and he has such amazing control of expressions. Even moreso in this book in which Delilah goes into polite society and so much must be conveyed through expression.
Plus there’s a lot of action, too.
The book opens with Delilah and Selim on a rescue mission of sorts. It proves to be kind of mundane in some ways (they are just trying to get a boy back to his mother…from his father), but the father is a kingly person with a full army, so there is much excitement in the process.
When the job is done, Selim tries to convince Delilah to go to England, but she really doesn’t want to. However, they are spotted while relaxing and are captured by the British army. The book is set in 19th century Europe, for context. One of the British Majors captures her and tries to convince his superior that she is a spy.
Turns out that his superior is his father and although the father knows about Delilah and her escapades (and that she’s not a spy), he also can’t deny the request of his son, so he agrees to have her arrested. Delilah vows revenge.
This of course means that she must return to England. And here’s where we get some awesome backstory. We learn that, indeed, Delilah has family back in England. But when they arrive at her family’s house things are… unexpected. Turns out that Delilah’s family is rather formal and proper and don’t have any idea what Delilah gets up to (she has concocted some crazy story about what she has been doing all this time). So there is a lot of mirth about Delilah trying to fit into polite society–and Selim trying to blend a s a servant (the tea joke is very funny).
A little spying and some help from an uncle who knows of Delilah’s secret helps her to track down the scoundrel. I loved that they have to attend a ball and there’s a wonderful parallel story of her getting dressed for the ball in one scene and then practicing her sword play in the next. But Delilah can’t plan to get her revenge on this man in public, can she?
Her revenge is personal of course, but when Selim learns that there may be other dreadful things about the man, the revenge becomes about much much more. The battle scene is very satisfying and the ending is delightfully dark.
I also really enjoyed a number of humorous panels in the book. In addition to some of Delilah’s awesome smirks–Cliff really has some of the best faces I’ve sever seen–I loved things like when he compared showed her greeting dressed and doing sword play: in one panel she has a diamond necklace put on her and the effects say “sparkle” and then she pulls he sword out of it scabbard and t also says “sparkle.”
For my favorite joke, she pulls Selim into the water and the next panel shows her smiling with her arms akimbo and the “effects” say “pleased.” Very funny.
I’m really happy to see that Cliff is planning to do more of these books.
This has been another great First Second #10yearsof01 book.