“if you get lonely for the trouble and the chaos”

I like the acoustic version of “True Romantic” more than the band one. Because I am generally more interested in the lyrics than the music, I don’t usually react differently to the acoustic versions of the songs on Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. What I like about the acoustic version of “True Romantic” is that it is so quiet and so intimate that it’s almost uncomfortable. In this way, it reminds me of “She’s Got to Be” and “Stand and Deliver” on Didn’t It Feel Kinder.

The thing about the two versions is that the band version of “True Romantic” doesn’t sound like an Indigo Girls song; it sounds like an Amy Ray song. I mean, at the end there, she makes that growly sound (is it a yell? is it a note? what is it?) that was off-putting the first couple of times I heard her do it. Then I started to get used to it, and once I saw her live, I started to see her in my head whenever I heard her sing. Now I can imagine what her mouth looks like when she’s singing those great lines like “I want you to look the other way/ When everything goes wrong.” By the way, I love that it’s “when” and not “if.” Way to be optimistic, there, Amy. If she were all cupcakes and sunshine all the time, I wouldn’t love her so much.

“True Romantic” is reminiscent of Amy’s solo stuff lyrically as well. She does that the-boy-in-me thing here: “If you took all the good stuff/ And put it all together/ And you took all the bad stuff/ And threw it all away/ Would I still be the girl that suits your fancy?/ Would I still be the boy that rocks your world?” On the aforementioned, superior acoustic version, Emily sings that part with her. That really gets me. When I first realized what was going on there, I backed it up and listened to those last two lines over and over. It is SUCH an Amy thing to write, and when Emily sings it, too, I just get chills, like something really important is happening there. If for no other reason than that moment, I am so glad they did an acoustic version of this album.