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25. Lambchop – Up With People

29/11/2009

25

Some songs are bleak premonitions of the future. Others recall a beautiful past, dewy-eyed with nostalgia. Up With People’s curious charm is that it manages to combine these two feelings by offering a sense of wistfulness for things yet to happen. Kurt Wagner’s story talks of growth, blooming and beaming – the sun rises, fills our soul, and even when it starts to fade, even when we start “screwing up our lives today”, the future is on hand to put things right: “C’mon progeny!” urges Wagner – it may just be an oblique form of “I believe the children are our future”, but the joy and lustre of both his voice and the choir instantly neutralises any cheesy whiffs. “Up our lives today!” it finishes, breaking the original lyric to turn a negative idea into a chant for humankind – it’s simple, powerful stuff. Up With People is less a manifesto, more a dreamer’s anthem, a soaring ode to everyone’s potential.

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