If ‘Starting Now’ were paired with a film produced by its author’s namesake, avant-garde director David Lynch, it would be the talk of the town. With its spoken-word introduction, the listener is reminded of the dialogue from Presley’s ‘Are You Lonely Tonight’, or more aptly, ‘The Man Comes Around’ by Johnny Cash. The conversational tone of ‘Starting Now’ is more upbeat than the aforementioned numbers, and there is a reflective quality to the lyrics. Richard Lynch recalls his youth, and hardships which were resolved by embracing a higher power. In this respect, ‘Starting Now’ is a religious song, although it is not evangelical. There is perhaps an irony underpinning the story, and an abstract interpretation is equally compelling as one that is literal. The mid-tempo pace of the track affords the listener time to absorb the lyrics, and its uncomplicated arrangement is simple but effective. A wandering slide guitar is consistent throughout, and a walking piano part tastefully fills the gaps with melodic progressions. Depending on which way you take it, ‘Starting Now’ by Richard Lynch is a profound spiritual awakening, or a meandering conversation with a wise mentor. Either way, by its conclusion, the listener has discovered something new about themselves. Twin Peaks or Sunday Service, your interpretation is your own.
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