Is Antony Blinken music on your heavy rotation list?
Did you even know that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a musician with songs on Spotify? With a blue “Verified Artist” tick on top of that? A YouTube commenter aptly dubbed him the Secretary of Shred while on Reddit Blinken Park.
Antony Blinken songs on Spotify
Blinken records under the name Ablinken. Is that a pun on POTUS #16? Or maybe even a revelation of his own presidential ambitions?
Anyway, Antony “Ablinken” Blinken currently has two songs on Spotify, both of which are singles from 2018.
He also has 53 monthly listeners (as of this writing); not quite as many as Ed Sheeran’s 50 million, but more than many of Spotify’s other 3 million “creators”.
Blinken’s Spotify page also references “contributions by Alex Chilton,” although the nature of these contributions remains unclear. He also writes that he plays in a “charity concert band” called the Coalition of the Willing, whose members include “Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers acclaim.” Not the worst musical accompaniment.
Song #1: Lip Service
The first song, Lip Service, is a four minute 80’s rocker.
It starts with intricate acoustic guitar textures teasing out a (too?) familiar descending chromatic melody, with some delicate Latin percussion in the background.
It soon becomes a very different song: standard rock guitar fare that could have been heard on stage in any bar in any city circa 1985.
Lip Service is serious but generic throughout the song, reminiscent of the late Eddie Money. The chromatically descending guitar bit from the intro returns at around 3:30, now serving as a background for some decent solo guitar noodles.
This solo dominates the drawn out fade out as the bass line anxiously darts up the frets to be heard amongst the multitude of guitars, with the drums also becoming increasingly excitable. All in all it sounds like they had fun recording it.
Song #2: Patience
The second song, Patience, is a three and a half minute number with more ballads.
Patience also begins with an acoustic guitar pattern reminiscent of the Guns N’ Roses and More than Words by Extreme song of the same name. The vocal style of our next SecState is unironically reminiscent of Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords in a moment of highest emotionality. The song also features upbeat piano and an unexpected recorder solo. Yes, this is the same instrument you had to take lessons on in third grade.
Policy Antony Blinken music: Riddles shrouded in mystery in a middle 8?
Does Antony Blinken’s music tell us anything about Antony Blinken’s doctrine?
“So just give me a chance to make you feel what I’m feeling,” Blinken asks us gently in solitaire. Could this sensitive appeal promise a kinder and softer foreign policy going forward?
Alternatively, what are we to make of the Biden candidate singing “Help me now, for patience is dying”? This could indicate a hawkish and easily angered statesman with an itchy trigger finger, the type who could write an angry letter in a pinch.
In any case, the implicit politics behind “Patience speaks til I’m blue, when all I want, I want you to unfold” will be a matter for tomorrow’s historians. And we can all look forward to lengthy analysis of The Great Unfolding on the New York Times comment pages by January 2021.
But in the meantime, we’ll have to put up with a couple of harmless AOR lite rock songs that take us back to a simpler age.
Photo: Credit US Embassy Tokyo / Public Domain, via Flickr