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By God, I love this woman. She never disappoints. Change the Sheets, described by Rolling Stone as an “icy, devastating breakup ballad” is thoroughly on brand, bitter, agitated, full of doubt, with just a hint of self-loathing thrown in, as she describes being summarily tossed aside in the disintegration of her latest love affair:

My love is a stockpile of broken wills
Like Santa Fe, margaritas, and sleeping pills
I want to lie in the cracks of this lonely road
I can fill in the blanks every time you don’t phone
Here is the truth, I swear it used to be fun
Go ahead run, run, run, run

Change this feeling under my feet
Change the sheets and then change me
Won’t you change this feeling under my feet?

There’s a bit of a country feel to it, as with most of her work, but it drives way too hard, it’s way too authentic, and it’s just too damned good to be something you’d hear coming out of, I dunno, Trisha Yearwood, Carrie Underwood, or Faith Hill. Maybe the Dixie Chicks, back in their heyday, could have handled a number like this, but honestly, there’s nobody quite like Edwards. Lots of people can crank out a bog-standard love song. It’s a whole other kind of mind that writes so compellingly about falling out of love, or going through the motions in empty relationships that never had a lot do with love in the first place.

The live clip from the Letterman show is included partly to illustrate how good she is on stage, and partly so I can note, yet again, the extent to which Dave’s unerring taste led, over and over, to the promotion of excellence. Somebody should put together a compilation of his musical guests, it’d be fantastic, with performances from Paul Westerberg, Bright Eyes, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Warren Zevon, the Foo Fighters, heck, that’s just off the top of my head. Oh yeah, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan too. I’d buy it in a heartbeat, and they could charge me a hundred bucks. In fact, I’d buy a dozen, and hand them out as Christmas and birthday presents, the better to keep myself in everybody’s good books.

There was tribute after tribute when Dave left the air:

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