SotD - Important Songs: Coheed and Cambria

David Ames shares some of the songs that have played an important part in his own personal soundtrack. Today it's his favourite song ever...

Song: “The Light and the Glass”

Artist: Coheed and Cambria

Album: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003)

This song is singlehandedly my favorite song of all time… from any band… ever. Anyone who has followed my writing for this site understands my deep love and appreciation for the genius that is Coheed and Cambria and so it should come as no surprise that the most important song for me personally should be one of theirs. This track is the last song (minus the fan favorite secret track entitled “21:13”) on Coheed’s sophomore album and it concludes what, to me, is their finest work to date. Granted, choosing Coheed albums to rank is like splitting hairs for me. Coheed is like pizza: even if it isn’t the best, it is still pretty damn good.

One brilliant thing about this song is that it seems to perfectly sum up everything that is right with such a unique band. There is softness, poppiness, heaviness, and pure, unadulterated emotion. The track takes us on a journey through an impressive soundscape that starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar and ends with an epic chant, singing “Pray for us all” as Travis Stever wails in the background over the bended notes of a perfectly placed lead. Josh Eppard and Mic Todd hold down the rhythm section like only they can, bringing an interesting interplay between the drums and the bass. Lastly, but most certainly not least, are Claudio Sanchez’s stunning vocal performance and lyrics.

The song starts softly with interesting, pensive lines, about the longing for someone who has been absent for years: “Slowly the pen touches paper in the guidance of the words that you write. Memories roll in of the things you once did and who you had shared them with; is somebody thinking of you.” He also has clever wordplay which I always enjoy. He says things like: “Did I bother telling you this, with the words that cross teeth and jump lips” and “If you get put to sleep, like an old dog you’re better off.”

The chorus of the song is where the first real twinge of that Sanchez-power comes in. There is a lovely build up and when the chorus rears its head, the full emotion of the moment reigns supreme over the lyrics “But you couldn’t last a lifetime caught between here and the days of it; carving her name across your arm.” Everything about the chorus, especially the perfectly placed chord slide in the second refrain, adds to the power of the song.

Lastly, there are epic portions of the song where all four musicians are at full power while Sanchez belts “Your father’s dead, he passed in his sleep.” This moment is quintessential Coheed and one of the defining elements of their genius.

All in all, this song is a landmark. It perfectly represents the band in my opinion. It was the song that truly solidified my love for them and their work. If you have never listened to the song before, strap in, because this 9:39 song is worth every second.

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