for baritone and piano
The eight songs in "Love Addiction" all yearn for love. Though the focus shifts from each to the next, the hunger, passion, and remorseless "SEARCH" remain painful constants — idées fixes.
John Kelly's poetry captures so well a gay man's pursuit of love, sex and connection in a big "metal" city — the shifting partners, the loneliness of dark bars, backrooms and baths, the sudden bright light of connection to an "ardent," reciprocating partner ("50/50"). The fear of intimacy ("The L-Word," i.e. , love) is eloquently detailed. The pains of geographical separation ("soon to be 3000 miles away"), of abandonment ("a second time I crave..") and of memory ("This solid ground warps under a memory of you") are all vividly expressed.
A love so relentlessly self-centered seems, to me, virtually an addiction. The flame of intensity always illuminated the author, while the partners, often shifting, remain in shadow. Perhaps the obsessive first song ("I I I I I") encapsulates this addictive edge most succinctly. And "speaking of self-centered), towards the end of the last song, "Brother," I "sign" my own name, i.e. , the baritone interjects a count, in Italian from 1 (uno) to 13 (tredici).