One single instrument, one single voice, and yet written so well that it empowers you in a way that a whole orchestra would sweat it’s brow to succeed at. The simple and soothing melody just glides through your ears and gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling in your gut: take a deep breath and enjoy the simplicity and emotion of Eddie Vedder’s Guaranteed, written for “Into The Wild”.
To begin with, I just couldn’t go without mentioning that fabulous pick: a bass line and melody tuned in with Vedder’s voice. The lyrics are so powerful, uplifting and universal but yet still abstract in their own way “Circles they grow and they swallow people whole […] A mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul”. The words weave together so many different themes like love, the simplicity of life, time passing “Wind in my hair I feel part of everywhere” (beautiful line by the way) and especially, hiding behind the simple melody, a strong critique of society. My favorite bit of this social satire is “I know the rules but the rules do not know me”. So personal but so brilliantly valid for any person out there. I love the way it describes the immensity of life.
Another important aspect of this song for me is Eddie Vedder’s voice. At first, I couldn’t stand it, but I grew to like the crackle and rumple in it: imperfections like that make music so much more touching and approachable. It makes it real.
This song was written for the movie “Into The Wild” which is definitely one of my favorite films ever. It’s the story of a young man who is fed up with society and decides to go out into the wild and face great big Alaska armed with nothing but a rusty old broken caravan. It is so terribly thought provoking, a beautiful, brilliant, marvelous portrait of existence that widens your perspective on life a whole lot. For me, Guaranteed is the song that represents that trait of the film the most throughout all of the soundtrack.
Just makes you want to grasp life: go make lemonade out of those lemons.
A few days I came across a video of one of Katy Perry’s live performances for MTV Unplugged, and I was totally in awe. Taught me that you shouldn’t judge an artist on their reputation.
After having done some research, I found out that Thinking of You is one of the first songs she ever wrote, which is pretty impressive considering how emotional it is (plus, I didn’t even know that Katy Perry wrote her own songs – “you’re hot then you’re cold, you’re yes then you’re no, you’re in when you’re out, you’re up and you’re down” doesn’t seem very… elaborate). This version is even more passionate with the subtle mingle of strings and guitar woven together with the soft drums.
Katy Perry’s voice is astonishing, and I feel like it’s such a shame that she is not really recognized for her voice. She has so much control which allows her to focus all her emotions into her tones and levels of volume (along with all the fancy vibratos and so on).
Another reason why I adore her performance is the fact that she doesn’t seem to be doing too much. It’s just her guitar and herself with all of her vulnerability. It’s not boring, not in the least, I find it’s even more captivating to observe an artist beeing completely transported into their music and the emotion they want to convey. It’s beautiful, really.
I’ve always been a great lover of The Kooks. Their fresh view on everything, a young twist on Brit-Pop, all their tunes so catchy and lyrics telling the tales of boyhood.
Their new album Listen (new-ish, I guess it took me some time to come to terms with my favorite band making an album I strongly dislike) is utterly dissappointing.
It’s just a load of electro-pop-indie vomit which kind of makes me nauseous, and I doubt half the sounds on it are produced by actual instruments. Gahhhh, where has good music gone? And more importantly, why are good musicians making bad music?
Seriously. Take the third track Westside. Basically, there’s one teeny weeny guitar riff at the beginning, which is looped for what seems like eternity before this painful keyboardy sound is thrown onto a totally flat beat. The lyrics are so unlike The Kooks, especially as they’re repeated like a gazillion times and that’s what fills up the song to be honest. To me it just sounds like one of those annoying songs you skip on the radio in the summer when you’re looking for a song to spice up your road trips.
Okay, on a more positive note, there is one song I really love: See Me Now. Still, it doesn’t really sound Kookey but I am addicted to the simpleness of it. Just Luke singing, his pure voice bursting out onto quite a repetitive piano progression. Then comes in some bass, drums and backing vocals. Oh and there’s a nice bit of strings around the end of it that makes it feel extra 80’s.
Anyway, I sincerely hope this is only a test or something, because I can’t have all this talent beeing wasted on some commercial piece of crap.
A steady rythm, a simple melody, some subtle humming in the background: that’s all Hozier needs to orchestrate an utterly powerful anthem of passion.
I strongly believe that love is the only thing that death cannot break, something higher than human understanding that cannot be explained with any form of science or rational thinking. This upcoming irish singer-songwriter apparently thinks the same. In “Work Song”, he explores the links between the two extremes of life: love and death, which are empowered by his brilliant art of suggesting things without naming them.
“No grave can hold my body down, I’ll crawl home to her”
Another important aspect of this song to me, is the connection between the title “Work Song” and actual work songs, sung to get through the terribly hard days of work in the era of Afro-American slavery. He sounds like he is laboring for his love, as it is the only thing he looks forward to, thanks to the very simple rythm, which adds depth to the whole thing.
In a nutshell, Hozier describes the power of love with such a transcending edge: deeply moving and sincere.