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Thinking About Salvation, but at a Later Date

Some songs rely more on the ferocity of the person singing it than the song itself. On "I'm Gonna Change My Ways," Peter Case testifies with the conviction of a true believer and howls with the intensity of a recent convert. The warm and rumbling electric guitar tempers the acoustic that Case wields like a combination megaphone and truncheon.

The message he's delivering might not mean the same thing coming out of anyone else's mouth; hell, it might not mean anything coming from someone else. But it doesn't really matter that the listener believes what Case has to say, so long as it's clear that Case does, fervently and with all his heart and brand-new soul.

Or maybe it's not that simple, since the tag that Case keeps dropping at the end of the chorus — "one of these days" — makes explicit the fact that he's speaking in the future tense the entire time. For all the fire in his heart, the man delivering this sermon isn't quite ready to abandon the life he knows for the straight and narrow. But, Case suggests with a sly smile, he's sure thinking about it.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Marc Hirsh lives in the Boston area, where he indulges in the magic trinity of improv comedy, competitive adult four square and music journalism. He has won trophies for one of these, but refuses to say which.