One of the first things that attracted me to the Delicate Fade record was the album cover. I know that may seem a bit juvenile, maybe even shallow, but I make no apologies and If I could figure out a way to blow it up and hang it on a wall, I would. Years after the record’s release, I was told that the art depicted on the front cover was actually a piece of trash found in the backyard of producer Steve Hindalong (The Choir). If you look real close you can see a fat T-bone steak advertised for $10.99.
I’m intrigued by the process that caused a scrap of trash to become a beautiful piece of art. I wonder how long it laid in Steve’s backyard and what sort of element formed such precise degradation. Was it blistering heat from the sun, or the frigid chill of winter? Perhaps it was the gentle pitter-patt of a warm spring shower. Of course, the probable answer is “all of the above”.
Speculation aside, I can’t help but see humanity in this odd bit of garbage. Each one of us are cursed to face the harsh elements of life, yet in spite of searing heat, bitter cold, and raging tempest, God methodically uses turmoil to shape us into complex works of art. And while the world may regard us as “backyard trash”, the Father grants us infinite value. If you’ll allow me to borrow from the band Sixpence None The Richer, were all a “beautiful mess”.
One of things that strikes me about Delicate Fade is the constant tension between the tender hope of songs like title track Delicate Fade, and the painful rage found in songs like Burn. This tension plays throughout the entire project and it draws the listener into the emotional rollercoaster of a man dealing with the neck snapping ups, and downs and the gut wrenching, twists and turns of a bitter divorce. Yet in the midst of all the anguish and tearful nights spent sleeping on the cold studio floor, Marc experiences slivers of hope and healing. And as you listen to the record in its entirety, you will feel each powerful emotion that Byrd felt during the writing and recording process.
That’s an important point to remember, Delicate Fade is one of those rare offerings that must be experienced as a whole. I’m resisting the temptation to talk about my favorite songs, because it’s so vital that one listen to each track in succession, however for the sake of this piece at least listen to the title track.
Delicate Fade is more than just a great modern rock record. It’s a snapshot of one man’s life, stripped, laid bare, and poured out in a remarkable musical confession.Like so many other albums before it, DF did not receive the recognition deserved. Now is your chance to rectify that injustice. Find it, buy it and experience the visual and auditory masterpiece that is Common Children Delicate Fade.