Curriculum

by Abby Ahmad

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    "The Rearview" is a full-length album and is packaged in a jewel case with a 16-page booklet full of lyrics and art.

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1.
Star Pupil 03:56
“I’m sorry.” Two words I can’t seem to extract From my vocabulary It’s not that I’ve done wrong See, this is where things get hairy History has wired me this way The suction Of that phrase upon my brain Led to the destruction There hasn’t been any sign of Reconstruction But I am willing to try What can I say? My whole life I’ve played the passive wife Every trick, I’ve turned my head So now I gather up my best defenses To words unsaid I swear, I’ll curb all the baggage Once I learn the language Baiting me with things I craved And yeah, I’d be waiting Just like the dogs of Pavlov I’d start salivating A private hell Each time they rang the bell Peel me Strip the tainted layers of this Past life For you, I’ll wipe the slate clean If you wipe my eyes dry To that former self We’ll bid farewell Fare thee well! Teach me, sir A new vernacular Consider me your star pupil I’m a slow burn But a fast learn And if I start to push away Babe, you just pull I swear to you I will be fine All I need is... Time Peace of mind Someone kind enough To guide me on my way So, wait Don’t lose your faith Your patience will lead me To a brighter day I see now that I’ve been low Been knocked down by petty blows A casualty of the unspoken But watch me now See how I’ve grown? Not aloof And not alone I am bruised but not broken Bruised but not broken And I do accept The dialect Things finally comprehend
2.
Q & A 05:42
I’m sure what I am seeing Sure as one can be Without a clear view Although our time is fleeting There is no doubt That I still know you This love sets the precedent Yet overflows with hesitance Yes, we both feel it Perhaps the best conclusions Are made by blindly trusting Instincts And mine say… We don’t need Need Need all the answers Just let this be Let’s take our chances and see What becomes of the question Behold this conversation As something worth your looking into This is no interrogation Just a closer glimpse At what we’ve been through Here we stand at the precipice Of what is now And what comes next Yes, we both fear it Sometimes the best solutions Are made by trusting What the heart thinks And mine says… Would you change it all if you could start again? Separate lover From brother From friend You need to learn to have faith in The things you can’t see Find balance in the limbo Of uncertainty I don’t want your word Or a guarantee Just acceptance of a possibility We don’t need Need Need all the answers Just let this be Can you take your chances on me? Maybe we can be the exception
3.
Landing Gear 04:24
I smell the sick stink Of a future forlorn Hold your breath, kids Greed is airborne With their lips sealed tighter And the handshakes firmer These hecklers have a history Of getting away with murmurs Everyone’s now at attention Since a nation’s been derailed Divided we stand United we failed Some are fanning the frenzy Most have just said fuck it, This week’s Category Five Will be next week’s drop in the bucket Sacrificed by misperception Sabotaged by misdirection We’ve been Bushwhacked We have been deceived And this round There’s no exception There’s no falling fragile In the fierce frontier Trade in your feathers For some landing gear Radar to red Now that right reads left The wind cracked my compass And I’ve flown further from the nest Zoom in a little closer To the next uncertainty Baby bird constructs her home Amidst a hive of worker bees Well, to succeed at failure I suppose it’s the risk that one takes You throw your eggs in a basket And hope they don’t break This town is functional But not friendly Sagacious yet snide They’ll throw a price on your potential Like some randy retail bride See my malfunction I am molting Destruction now on display Exploiting my exposure In 2-3 business days So I brace myself for the breakdown With wings barely intact Desperately decoding candor Weeding out the fiction From the fact There’s no falling fragile In the fierce frontier Trade in your feathers For some landing gear Radar to red Now that time’s a test The wind cracked my compass And I’ve flown further from the nest There’s no falling fragile In the fierce frontier Trade in your feathers For some landing gear Radar to red Now that east is west The wind cracked my compass And I’ve flown further from the nest Silence deemed selfish So, I need to get this off my chest Claimed half my courage Now, I’m turning back to find the rest
4.
Picket Lines 04:09
Yellow tape Yellow belly You fled the scene of the crime While the blood was still warm Narrow escape With hands unsteady Trigger-finger On the pulse of the problem My protest was peaceful But you were hot Silenced me with a single shot You’re slipping out the back door Running Placing fault on circumstance You claim freedom Well, who could blame you? Faster than your feet could fly Redder than your reason why You were certain I could not contain you You’ve been going out of your mind I’ve been going out on the picket line Guess I saw something there Worth fighting for To you it was all metaphor What I do it for Reason I’m so sore (Just another tale to tell) Get myself up in arms Sounding false alarms To keep myself from harm (Write a story that will sell) I have tried my best To rest To let this thing fly Take comfort in the peace That time will bring But something leaves me hollow On the inside Leaves me questioning... You’ve been going out of your mind I’ve been going out on the picket line Guess I saw something there Worth fighting for Leave me with my rage After all, it’s just Words on a page Lines on a stage
5.
Borders 05:37
There’s a fine line that separates What we want and what we get So I will state this plainly I’m not finished with you yet You claim your aim is to abstain From distraction From diversion Yet you will readily admit you are Subject to coercion Love, you knew this thing was bigger Than any qualm inside your head Why hold it down? Why hold your ground? When you could hold me instead Fall into this blindly Invade my privacy Know better Than to know better Cause I’ve got something That I think you’d like to see We knew we took a gamble The day we offered our consent Old friends become new lovers In one bold instant All our silences were spoken I heard the code crack from within The borders They’re all broken I can’t tell Where I end and you begin I guess some risks just must be taken When certain hungers must be fed Why have it out? Why have our doubts? When we could have us instead Fall into this blindly Invade my privacy Know better Than to know better Cause I’ve got something That I think you’d like to… See me here as I am Laid out in light before you Take as much as you can If you really want out You’d better learn to live without The realest real you’ve ever felt I know it’d take a sharp edge To make you think outside your lines To make you cease from building boundaries To let your love bleed into mine What’s crime to you, I call creation You say, “There’re rules…” I’m unconvinced This is you and this is me And we are not degrees Of guilt or innocence Fall into this blindly Invade my privacy Know better Than to know better Cause I’ve got something That I think you’d like to see Fall into me kindly Not to would be piracy And you’d be no better Than a thief in stormy weather Slipping away before daylight Sailing my heart into the night You can call this untimely I can call you by your name You’ve been unfettered But you know better Than to suggest that I try The same There’s a fine line that separates What we want and what we get
6.
Habit 05:11
I’ve got a nasty habit It’s one of twenty-five to be exact And I keep trying to quit you But you just keep on coming back (Well, look at that) And I’ve got this little rabbit I’ve got all sorts of tricks in my hat And if you stay just a little bit longer You might just become part of my act (Imagine that) I want you when I’m hungry But I crave you when I’m full You’re two chocolate bars and a cigarette Away from being lethal Want you to make me feel dirty Want you to make me feel clean Can you make me feel anything For the times in between? Cause I’ve got a sweet tooth for agony A recipe for misery Can you feed my addiction, please? Think I might take up heavy drinking I’ll become the epicenter for all forms of abuse And when they ask what drove me to this You can be my example You can be my excuse You know, lately I’ve been thinking That I should put these hands to good use Gather up my demons and tie ‘em real pretty Next time you come around just cut ‘em loose I use your body as the palette for my songs From your head to your toes to everything in between It’s not your fault that you’re an art form That you’re an addict’s poison And a poet’s wet dream But Mommy said to exercise my self-control Brush up on my manners If you know what I mean But it always fails I’m a whore to temptation Dip my hands in the sugar bowl And always lick my fingers clean I am a child of chaos I’ve built my home in the heart of discourse I come alive in our tangled web of silence I am rebirthed through this twisted intercourse So you’re my newest habit Guess that makes it twenty-six I’m a junkie for your touch And I’m needing a fix Guess I never understood Guess I never learned That when you fuck with fire Babe, you’re bound to get burned
7.
Lost on Me 05:33
Repeat performance Cruel déjà vu You play the bad guy And I'll play the fool How could I slip and make the same mistake twice? When did I learn to forgo my own good advice? I cannot stand here Awaiting the day That your actions Match the words that you say My heart’s gone bankrupt Selling wisdom for free Every lesson learned is another one Lost on me I am a danger to myself Get all mangled Tangled Tied up in the past Be true unto thyself But I can’t manage I’m damaged A victim to typecast Applause, applause Three cheers for the lost cause Fragile, flawed Shining center stage But the pain makes you grow Hard land to tow When everything’s changing Now, see how I’ve changed I cannot stand here Awaiting the day You finally decide to Get out of your own way I sacrificed my want Appeasing your need Every lesson learned is another one Lost on me Things that you tried to hide I chose to ignore Guess we’re both better actors Than we gave ourselves credit for But now that I can finally see All those things you’ve held inside Despite what you have meant to me I cannot just let this slide See, I cannot stand here Pretend we're ok Not like you’ve fessed up To your fact, anyway I tried to play teacher I never could be Every lesson learned is another one lost on me Every lesson learned, another one's lost on me Every lesson learned, another one's lost on me But man, why’d you have to Go and get lost on me?
8.
I cannot be the boss of me I’ve been reduced to puppetry Cause it takes you To make me function properly I’ve made it so that I can’t breathe Through the staleness of this stagnancy Dependency I’m married to my misery This year’s been an eternity Denying the maternity Of my own rebirth You see, I scare me Who am I if not yours? What defined me before? Call it laziness Call it fear But I am stuck in neutral gear I am my own catastrophe A result of inactivity The more I sit here idly The more my pain precedes me Dissection to the worst degree My thoughts agree to disagree It’s agony, anarchy Don’t fade on me But with the hurt Comes clarity Pawned my heart for new eyes to see Every recycled memory Bringing a new epiphany The love that left me craving more Sent you running for the door Call it craziness, my dear To be stuck in neutral gear Oh, and how I long to be Floating fast Flying free Feeling the best parts of me High above the wreckage Reelecting bravery Summoning the strength to be Okay with me Pray you’ll see The moral in my message: I will not move on from you But I will move up and through And in directions I never knew...
9.
Going Gone 03:17
Better off later Than never at all Better of risking the length of the fall Then to take up your time Pacing that line Feeling small You’ve been searching for something Your purpose Your path Well, you ain’t gonna find it through logic So quit doing the math And start looking inside Trust me, you’ll find it Somehow Sacrifice is not a sound solution Learn to let your heart engage Your evolution Not common sense Or self-defense Only emotion can guide you On this mission Better off loving As hard as you can Than to stick to your guns Than to stick with the plan Cause I fear that in time You’ll find your whole life’s passed you by Kid, I had a taste Of what you have to share And if you could just learn to embrace it I swear The pain will subside And doubts will just fall to the wayside Now, I can’t lie I wish that I could’ve been the one To be the benefactor of that revelation But I’ll sing my song To let you move on Cause after all You were always Going… Going… Gone Better off later Than never at all
10.
Too much space Inside this weight When will I regenerate? Silly stones Broke my bones How long does it take? You and me Had symmetry Division has me shaky I am stunned Coming undone How long must I wait? In all that we’d been through I bent my foot To fit the shoe When all along, I always knew Always knew I will not spend another day Keeping myself hidden away I’ve been burned But I have learned To choose a different play I'll cast aside My driest tongue My heavy heart And iron lungs In favor of braver parts Organs primed for a new start In all that we’d been through I’d twist my arm To see things through And now that I am free from you It’s time to see what grew…

about

ABBY AHMAD OFFICIAL WEBSITE
www.abbyahmad.net

CURRICULUM, (the follow-up to Abby Ahmad's acclaimed debut, THE REARVIEW), marks a metaphoric and musical evolution for the 28-year old songwriter. Inspired by the thrilling yet frenetic challenges of being an emerging musician in NYC, CURRICULUM documents the path to independence (both musical and personal) navigating the many lessons learned along the way.

The album’s production values were crafted with a similar mentality. Abby teamed up with Brooklyn-based producers Mark Marshall and Nathan Rosenberg. Together, they have produced an organic, searing portrait of sound and emotion.

Adding to the album’s sonic maturity and authenticity are a stellar lineup of NY musicians including the horn section of legendary musician Levon Helm and Grammy award winning multi-instrumentalist, Michael Leonhart.


"Abby Ahmad is one of those rare talents who is at the ideal position in her artistic journey when craft, skill and talent have all developed to an equal point and coalesced into a magnificent apex of achievement. Her latest album, CURRICULUM, is easily on par with the works of Dylan and Dickinson or even Plath. "
-Allen Foster, Songwriter's Monthly


"When the louds and quiets are embraced and explored in guitar-based folk-rock, it can only serve to make the delicate melodies more capturing and the hammering strums more exclamatory. Not afraid to challenge the listener with literate lyricism and intricate song structures, this is an ambitious group of songs that will keep you coming back to catch all the subtleties."
-CD BABY Editor's Review

credits

released November 17, 2009

ALL MUSIC/LYRICS BY ABBY AHMAD
© 2008 Published by Detour Music (ASCAP)

PRODUCED BY: Nathan Rosenberg, Mark Marshall and Abby Ahmad
ENGINEERED BY: Mark Marshall and Nathan Rosenberg
MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Mark Marshall
MIXED BY: Nathan Rosenberg
RECORDED/MIXED @DoghouseNYC (Brooklyn, NY)
MASTERED BY: Alan Silverman, ARF Mastering (New York, NY)

Horns on Borders, Up and Through, and Going Gone recorded @ Candyland, NYC. (Michael Leonhart, engineer)

Horns for Borders, Up and Through, Going Gone: Michael Leonhart

Horn Arrangements for Star Pupil, Landing Gear: Steven Bernstein, Clark Gayton, Erik Lawrence

String Arrangements for Q & A, Lost on Me: Nathan Rosenberg

Art Direction/Graphic Design: Tyler Morgan
Photography: Erica Simone
Hair/Makeup: Jerry Lopez

2009 Little Whisper Records
www.abbyahmad.net

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