Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Refrains , vocalists and dogs whining.

Sometimes , the refrain in a song really does matter.

I was listening to Stairway to Heaven sometime back for possibly the millionth(?) time. I love that song. At first , the quiet vocals and the apparent lack of energy would put me off  and thus  I gave up on it , for maybe I expected a little more gusto after being subjected to Metallica , Children of Bodom , Slayer and the like. Not subjected , exactly. Subjected would mean...submission or involuntary involvement. More like...I don't know. And I'm digressing.

Anyway , it's a lovely song. I love the way it begins , I love the guitar , the matter-of-fact tone , the voice...Robert Plant has the second best voice in heavy metal music. The first is Dave Mustaine. Never walk alone! A tout le monde! :D

But then the refrain spoilt it all.

I understand that the lyrics aren't meant to make any sense for it is a '60s song and thus provides a good enough reason for it to not mean anything.
But the refrain and the way it is sung...reminded me of Hey there Delilah and that is very bad , for a classic song is being equated to a trashy loser song which at best can be laughed at! "ooo...it makes me wonder.."...it sounds pompous and a mockery at best. And it is repeated around three to four times in the song , so I can't resist a smirk everytime Plant goes "...and it makes me wonder" which I find truly distressing. So much for a classic song and it's imperfections. So much for me. ^ ^
Hey there Delilah is a trashy song at best. Some argue that it portrays true love , it's touching...but I think it's crap. But I shall not post more in this vein so as to not affect certain sentiments. I'll only say that the refrain ('oooo , it's what you do to meeee') sounds incredibly like a dog whining. o_O

A song in which I really like the refrain is Black Night (Deep Purple). 'The black (k)night is..far away from home"...it introduces the possibility of 'Night' being interpreted as 'Knight' too. I love that song. It's really catchy and short which makes it intensely likeable. One reason I do not like Smoke on the water is that it's too long. It's got a good beat and all , but it's plain and repetitive. Black Night is crisper and better. I love old songs , especially You've got another thing coming (Judas Priest). That's another long song , but more ruing for another day. :P

PS - 'Classic' need not necessarily be interpreted in a strictly technical sense. It could mean , superior , excellent , or vintage , depending upon the context. :P


Prathima said...

I really do love your writing style... very classy and knowledgable... and polished. Almost like writing from somewhere far away or long ago or writing from a professional critic. None of that naivite or amateurishness in your writing... though it could seem pretentious to some. Your love of music certainly comes through and that's what makes this piece impressive. Not the flawless writing, or the knowledgable, almost pretentious tone, but the sheer love of music. I haven't really heard any of the songs you mention, except hey there delilah. I like hey there delilah simply because it makes me smile :). And its just one of those songs thats calming and well sappy. Mostly its that feeling, you know, that someone's out there, just for you and you'll never ever be truly alone. I don't really judge music in terms of vocals, refrains, lyrics even... i judge music by what it makes me feel, and hey there delilah makes me feel happy and sad at the same time in the most pathetic sort of way. But then all of us are pathetic inside, despite however sensible we are outside. Listen to John Mayer. I think you might like his music. I do. Its extremely meaningful music and very calming, but i guess the guitars etc. are great too. Listen to every song on the Continuum album; and listen to the lyrics too... they're all amazing.

vaishali said...

Thank you Prathima...I can't tell you how much that means to me. I agree with you , sometimes how you feel about the music makes all the difference and it's a very personal feeling. I shall listen to John Mayer. I've heard a lot about him! :)

ZARDY said...

Hey Vaishali! I totally agree with you. The refrain is a very important part of both music and poetry. Often, it's what catches our attention.