Monday, April 16, 2012

Indigo Girls - "Closer to Fine"

Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls (Expanded Edition)

(Debuted July 22, 1989, Peaked #52, 9 Weeks on the Chart)

During the summer of 1989, I was still 16 years old and about to start my senior year of high school. And when it came to music, I was fairly open to stuff that took me away from the Top 40 material my girlfriend liked (yes, she was a fan of New Kids on the Block). My male friends liked hard rock, and when I was alone I tended to raid my parents' record collection for older material, listened to different radio stations and late at night I watched 120 Minutes and Post Modern on MTV. Those shows introduced me to this song.

Kicking off with an acoustic guitar, the thing about the song that made me take notice was the lyric about getting through college and how it seemed (at least to my own ears) to be saying that it was all a formality. I was considering college at the time and that lines "I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper and I was free" scared me a little  

Today, I'm well beyond the college years (and served in the military before I went to the State U. of New York) and understand that the song continued beyond that. Now I see the song as a message that life is a series of roads, and everybody needs to navigate their own. The key lyric for me now is "there's more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line," and there really is no definitive "doctor," "mountain," "fountain" or anything that will provide one. That's what the song means to me now: Life is a journey, and you need to set your own course.


  1. Amazingly talented duo. Love their catalog.

  2. I was in college when this came out, and it was so much more substantive than most of the crap on the radio. If I hadn't been hanging out with a guitar player, I may have missed it. Here's my take on the whole album (which is very good):