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Galen Badeaux was a singer-song writer - multi-instrumentalist whose own interests and influences were widely varied enough to include The Alan Parsons Project, The Beatles, The Moody Blues, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, ELO, The Beach Boys, Yes...consequently his own original music can be difficult to categorize: sometimes it's Pop, sometimes it's Classical-Rock, sometimes it's Folk-Rock, or Art-Rock.
Galen died of Cancer on November 18, 2002 at the age of 37
Brad Goins, Editor of LAGNIAPPE MAGAZINE wrote: Close your eyes and dream. When Port Arthur songwriter, musician and singer Galen Badeaux succumbed to cancer in 2002, he left behind numerous recorded original songs. Some have been collected in the UNFINISHED SYMPHONIES CD.
UNFINISHED SYMPHONIES has 13 cuts making use of a wide variety of popular 1960s and 1970s styles. What seems most prevalent to me is a kind of 70s sound in which folksy rock ballads were complemented by string and synthesizer back-up...a sound I associate with Dan Fogelberg or Seals and Crofts. There are a number of distinctive Tex-Mex guitar flourishes and solos, the most moving figuring in the slow and soulful end of THE WAY. There's some high-energy, upbeat �60s pop a la Beach Boys or Rascals. And SOULSINGER is delightfully reminiscent of the rich, exotic mid-60's sound created when West Coast pop was making the transition to psychedelia.
While there's a vast range of styles on this release, don't expect to hear much of the 1980s or any of the 1990s. These songs are retro, and point back to a distant time when young people still believed life could be about adventure rather than acquisition. As a songwriter, Badeaux has much more in common with Brian Wilson than with the long succession of Kurt Corbain imitators. Badeaux's songs, like Wilson's, were written from the perspective of an experienced adult acutely aware of the adversities experienced by all but determined to retain a sense of playfulness in spite of everything.
What universal adversities did Badeaux record? In poignant lines from THE WAY, he describes the disappointment that even the most nonmaterialistic individual feels when he finds himself short on status symbols in a relentlessly materialistic society: "Looking around, I see my friends going past Making me wonder if they were really there. And I never felt so alone." An even more poignant description of an unforgiving social order is found in the words of the tender ballad WORLD OF MAKE BELIEVE, in which Badeaux asks: "Is there anyone who can know the way To where the knives don't hurt us so?" He answers the question with lines that could have been written by Brian Wilson: "Close your eyes and dream in a world of make believe And I'll protect you from reality."
These lyrics should not lead the reader to think the music ever veers into the somber or morose. On the contrary, the occasional bittersweet moments are always followed by affirmation, as when the phrase IT IS TRUE is repeated four times running in the song that uses that phrase as its title. With these lyrics, Badeaux obviously made a conscious move to maintain allegiance to the possibility of truth at a time when "truth is slippery: gets away"(SOULSONG).
While Badeaux's songs are definitely about the guy who never gets the girl, they're likewise about the guy who chooses to contemplate his loss, rather than give in to the cheap satisfaction of whining about it. The singer steadfastly refuses to conform to the pointless and ultimately useless conventions of consumerist adulthood and insists on holding on to what's best in childhood. To do so may be less fearsome a prospect than direct confrontation of the situations that make the adult world so stressful and frantic these days. But taking the nonconformist stands the singer takes does require a subtle kind of courage, and his experience thus provides the perfect subject matter for this subtle, upbeat and always gentle music.
To hear an audio sample (Streaming format), click on the word "Audio Sample" after the title of some songs. The song samples are approximately 60 seconds in length.
-Featuring Galen Badeaux
Great Flite Recordings
Newthink/I Never Thought
It Is True/ Witch Way/ Here We Go
Land Of Make Believe
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