Cracks Are Showing


"Cracks Are Showing" is the first track on Manuscript.

Lyrics (spoken)

Cracks are showing
Silently dreaming
Wishing and praying
Quietly leaving
Winter is here
Ice is melting
Slipping away
No longer breathing
Taxi driver seething
Colder today
Fragile is the night
Comforting calm
Truth is awakening
Loud and clear
Rings erelong

My Take

At first, the soundscape takes center stage, sounding very cold, ethereal, and majestic. There are also brief insertions of peculiar and futuristic sounds every now and then, as well, almost like machines or engines turning on and off. The first half of this song is when Dave speaks his words and the second half is just reserved for the soundscapes to carry us away into a strange state of suspension and hypnosis. As for the meaning of the words, I have thought of none other than old age as being the primary subject. Of course, nowhere is that phrase mentioned, but the hints are all there. For example, "winter" commonly symbolizes old age in literature and in many cultures, as it is considered the last season before renewal happens (i.e., spring). Also, Dave once used the phrase "cracks are showing" to subtly refer to the physical deterioration brought on by old age. Watch what he says about it here starting at the 31:47 mark and then uses the phrase soon after:

Note that he had said this in 2010, when he was not even yet 50! Anyway, to those people who are feeling their age or watching others experience this phase in their life, it's a (hard) "truth" that "awakens" ever more each day, isn't it?

Music Video

The video consists of various scenes from nature- particularly from icy and snowy landscapes, beaches, and water. Sometimes, they are super-imposed with other totally abstract effects like bright sparks of light and moving shapes. At times, we also see Kurt Uenala himself- his silhouette, his reflection in water, or just him standing on the beach. Later, the scenes change to those from a city- driving along a busy highway, and then a random shot of a merry-go-round.

My Take

This video has a subtle grain and over-saturation of color that gives me the sense that it was recorded on VHS or at least is trying to imitate that style. I would even dare say that the styling is akin to the video for "Enjoy the Silence." There is even a nice close-up of a red rose as if to drive the comparison home. But unlike the nature scenes in that former video, I can't say that the ones in this one make me feel terribly relaxed or serene, though. The images of windblown snow and ice, wintry trees stripped of their leaves, and abstract and almost creepy-looking shapes give me a very desolate feeling. And there is no Dave walking around in this one- just Kurt, and he's dressed in simple and modern winter wear rather than in a medieval king's outfit.