“Simple, unadorned, phony style”
There are songs to sing, there are feelings to feel, there are thoughts to think. That makes three things, and you can't do three things at the same time. The singing is easy, syrup in my mouth, and the thinking comes with the tune, so that leaves only the feelings. Am I right, or am I right? I can sing the singing. I can think the thinking. But you're not going to catch me feeling the feeling. No, sir.
An interesting adjunct to any discussions of the 'Old Weird America' (a phrase which always brings to mind the 'new weird america' and the prairies, beards and Grateful Dead records that entails) is this review of Robert Crumb's That's What I Call Sweet Music by Tom Ewing, which reminds that the pre-Pop period was completely full of its own Pop, its own functional dance music, which was just as sophisticated and nuanced as what would follow. Personally I long for the time when The Ink Spots have as much cachet as numinal disembodied folk singers awaiting Moby's sampler, although a problem with Ewing's review is that for him Pop itself is of necessity not strange. I tried a year or so ago to write an anatomising of the strange psychosexual world of the crooner, although I think it was a little botched in the last instance. But The Singing Detective could tell you all you need to know about that murky area just as well.