Sometimes a song will sit in my collection for years before it really slaps me in the face. I listened to this particular song many times, even gave it four stars, but never thought of it as more than just “a song”. Then some snippets of lyrics stuck in my head a few nights ago, and I really listened to it, looked up the complete lyrics. Then I got it.
The band first got my attention when I discovered their video Peek-a-Boo on MTV back when MTV actually played music videos. This was not a “la-la-la” band in brilliant Technicolor singing happy songs: Dark, strange, a little abrasive, and exactly my kind of thing. Even as a child, it was Alien over E.T. for me. I’ve also always loved the Classical period, history and mythology. My new understanding of the context of “Cities in Dust” bumps it up from four to five stars.