Faultline - Your Love Means Everything
For two years Your Love Means Everything has sat in the vaults, despite being so close to a release in 2002 that review copies were in the post before it was lost between the politics of record companies. In the meantime, both Chris Martin and The Flaming Lips, guests on the 2002 version of Your Love Means Everything, are now stars of rock awards, the festival circuit and of albums featuring their own twisted, melancholy pop, whilst David Kosten, the man behind Faultline, waited with his album ready for the record companies to resolve their differences and finally release this wonderful album.
With EMI now handling Faultline, the release of an updated version of Your Love Means Everything, having lost Bitter Kiss and Missing, has resulted in one of this year's best albums to date.
Beginning with the title track, the instrumental version, Your Love Means Everything opens with a sound not dissimilar to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop recording the chiming of jack-in-the-boxes and of nursery rhymes. As one track in the song is light and playful, so the other is dark, pulsing in lieu of a rhythm and sinister in the manner of the haunted nursery from The Haunting.
This opening track gives notice for the album to come with track two seeing Chris Martin singing with regret for his own lost innocence on Where Is My Boy? More daring than much of what Coldplay have recorded on their own brace of albums, with the exception of Clocks and Spies, this song urges Martin's vocal on whilst twisting its pop melodies around his dry vocal. Martin reappears at the album's end, offering a vocal on Your Love Means Everything (Part 2) and it is his presence, alongside Michael Stipe, The Flaming Lips and Vordul Megilah, amongst others, that gives the album both a shape and a heart that would otherwise have been lacking within the electronic soundtrack.
Then again, it's also the childlike, if not childish, simplicity of both of these early tracks that best informs Your Love Means Everything. The third track on the album, We Came From Lego Blocks is a pop culture rundown of soft drinks, sweets and children's toys whilst later on the album, as it approaches its end, the achingly beautiful The Colossal Grey Sunshine and the cover of Greenfields show that almost laughably simply lyrics work when set against music that's as wonderful as this. No matter that The Colossal Grey Sunshine steps into its chorus with, "Suddenly, there wasn't any shine left in the sun / You're turning off the sun...by turning off your love", when sung by The Flaming Lips and with David Kosten recording music that threatens to drift away from the CD were it ever exposed to sunlight, it's a genuinely sweet and tender ballad. Similarly, Greenfields has Michael Stipe's rich vocal singing of how the countryside was ravaged as a relationship fell apart. Lyrically, these could well have been written by David Kosten's younger nephews and nieces but where they may have appeared embarrassing when removed from this album, it simply comes over here as so heartfelt as to lack complexity.
The greatest feeling around Your Love Means Everything is in it being a spiritual brother to Bomb The Bass' Clear. As a mix of pop, electronica, dance and folk, all twisted around a small number of themes, all that separates these two albums is the bright optimism of this album set against the bleak and oppressive music of Clear but although this makes them sound worlds apart, it's the mix of sounds and rhythms that bind the two. And both are great albums, with Clear remaining current over ten years after its first release whilst Your Love Means Everything should continue to be considered a classic of innocent pop a decade from now.
Whilst never quite as good as that other great album of naive pop, Pet Sounds, this is a better album than one would expect given how it has been bumped between record companies for the last two years. All credit then to EMI for rescuing Your Love Means Everything from the vaults and for allowing the intervening years to pass with a better version of the album being released. No matter its commercial success - you suspect that it will have no greater a success than of Flaming Lips' albums from a few years back - this is a gem and will go down in memory as one of the great lost and underrated pop albums.