Monday, May 25, 2009

Metals: Lithium

The Polyphonic Spree: Lithium


Lithium is the lightest of metals. In fact, it corrodes quickly under normal conditions and therefore must be kept in an oil or gel to be sustained for any period of time. It only occurs naturally on the planet in compounds because of this. A number of practical uses have been found for it, most notably being its use in batteries. But another use is as a mood stabilizer. It can be used to treat bipolar disorder, mania and depression, but must be monitored because above a very small amount it is very toxic.

The mood stabilizing affects of lithium is what inspired the Nirvana song named after it. The song is a tale of all the highs and lows a person can go through and how the lithium makes us stop feeling the things we once did. The song deals with the feelings of this treatment and how sometimes feeling awful is better than feeling nothing at all.

This cover of the song by The Polyphonic Spree takes a completely different feel to it. The Polyphonic Spree is a "choral symphonic rock" group that features about 20 members in robes that makes music that's entirely too happy for its own good. Many have thought the group to be some kind of religious cult before, but really it is just the brainchild of rocker Tim DeLaughter, previously of the group Tripping Daisy. When The Polyphonic Spree takes on this Nirvana classic all of the sudden it feels like a song by Stuart Smalley with it's overly happy and hopeful take on life. Overall, I really like this cover simply because it takes a classic song that almost everyone knows, and gives it a whole new spin.

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