RIGHT AS RAIN

 

Artist: Adele

Genre: Soul/ R&B

Notable lyrics: 

Who wants to be right as rain
It’s better when something is wrong
You get excitement in your bones
And everything you do’s a game
When night comes and you’re on your own
You can say I chose to be alone
Who wants to be right as rain
It’s harder when you’re on top
‘Cause when hard work don’t pay off
And I’m tired there ain’t no room in my bed
As far as I’m concerned
So wipe that dirty smile off
We won’t be making up
I’ve cried my heart out
And now I’ve had enough of love
Who wants to be riding high
When you’ll just crumble back on down
You give up everything you are
And even then you don’t get far
They make-believe that everything
Is exactly what it seems
But at least when you’re at your worst
You know how to feel things
‘Cause when hard work don’t pay off
And I’m tired there ain’t no room in my bed
As far as I’m concerned
So wipe that dirty smile off
We won’t be making up
I’ve cried my heart out
And now I’ve had enough of love
Go ahead and still my heart
To make me cry again
‘Cause it will never hurt
As much as it did then
We were both right
And no one had blame
But now I give up
On this endless game
‘Cause who wants to be right as rain
It’s better when something is wrong
I get excitement in my bones
Even though everything’s a strain
When night comes and I’m on my own
You should know I chose to be alone
Who wants to be right as rain
It’s harder when you’re on top
‘Cause when hard work don’t pay off
And I’m tired there ain’t no room in my bed
As far as I’m concerned
So wipe that dirty smile off
We won’t be making up
I’ve cried my heart out
And now I’ve had enough of love
No room in my bed
As far as I’m concerned
So wipe that dirty smile off
We won’t be making up
I’ve cried my heart out
And now I’ve had enough of love

To the few consistent readers I have, I’m so apologetic about the delay in updating my blog. The past two days have been a bit stressful, and I hadn’t found the time to dedicate the fair amount of time I must, to write the blog.

The lovely Adele, as we know her, has been a darling singer these few years. My brother introduced to me her, and I knew that this woman had that raw, exquisite talent most singers could only dream of. Adele Adnis was born and brought up in London, in a working-class family. She got her heart-broken when she was 19 and in college, by an older man, and has penned several songs ever since. She’s been ridiculed in the past for her appearance (mainly her body), and her melodramatic songs, but mostly, she’s looked upon as an idol – let me explain why: this woman hasn’t ONCE felt the need to change her appearance, or her style of making music. She continues to wear what she always did, and sings dramatic songs like she always has, while topping the charts constantly. While most popular singers resort to making sexually explicit videos to gain more views, Adele uses her heart, voice, and soul, a wonderful trilogy of congenitally good singers.

This song belongs to her first album ’19’ (probably based on the songs written and composed when she was 19 years old). It revolves around a common theme – an impotent women looking at the bad side of things, since her lover’s gone. While this song may present itself in a fairly pessimistic light, I argue that it’s a realists’ way of looking at things. She’s sad about being estranged, and the pain won’t be going away anytime soon. Things seem like a mess, so she’s given up on happy days, at least transiently. The lyrics are so cleverly written that it plays out like a convincing argument about how something insane is actually right, if you know what I mean. You don’t feel a sudden urge to fight back or prove it wrong, but instead you think.

As I refer to this song as one of her ‘lost classics’, the live version isn’t as wonderful as the studio version. The use of string quartet is VERY savvy, I must admit. It completes the song and gives it a very nightclub-ish feel. Adele’s bassy voice works out too well for the original composition. Among all the Adele super-hits, I’d easily pick this one to talk to her about. After all, It’s often the lost gems that shine the brightest.

At the end of the day, whether you like her or not, Adele has achieved what most popular singers couldn’t: the privilege of being seen as a whole person, and just not an image.

EMPTY

Artist: Ray LaMontagne

Genre: Folk

Notable lyrics:

She lifts her skirt up to her knees
Walks through the garden rows
With her bare feet laughing
I never learned to count my blessings
I choose instead to dwell
In my disasters
I walk on down the hill
Through grass grown tall
And brown and still
It’s hard somehow
To let go of my pain
On past the busted back
Of that old and rusted Cadillac
That sinks into this field
Collecting rain
Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?
And of these cut throat busted sunsets
These cold and damp white mornings
I have grown weary
If through my cracked and dusty
Dime store lips
I spoke these words out loud
Would no one hear me?
Lay your blouse across the chair
Let fall the flowers
From your hair
And kiss me
With that country mouth
So plain
Outside the rain is tapping on the leaves
To me it sounds like
They’re applauding us
The quiet love We’ve made
Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?
Well I looked my demons in the eyes
Lay bare my chest
Said do your best to to destroy me
See I’ve been to hell and back
So many times
I must admit
You kinda bore me
There’s a lot of things
That can kill a man
There’s a lot of ways to die
Yes, and some already did
And walk beside me
There’s a lot of things I don’t understand
Why so many people lie
It’s the hurt I hide that fuels
The fire inside me
Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?

If being in love hurts a man enough to etch something so beautiful in our minds, hearts and ears, I wouldn’t mind falling in love at all.

Ray LaMontagne is an American singer-songwriter, who specializes in writing in Folk and Country songs, and has the hands of an angel and Wordsworth’s brain. He’s got the perfect hipster look, except he’s quite attractive and is a lyrical genius.

‘Empty’ is a romantic song about mourning the loss of a lover, either due to separation or death. The singer feels ’empty’ and ‘estranged’ after he’s been left behind with nothing but the memories of them. He goes to the places they’ve once been, and talks about how the weather that once seemed beautiful when she was around, is killing him now. Basically, he feels left out and is questioning us, the experienced, if he’s always going to feel empty. The answer is – yes. Sorry Ray, the after-effects of love are complicated. What is particularly interesting is the last verse, where he talks about how he’s so accustomed to being in pain that her abandoning him doesn’t affect him all that much. The use of words and the language is all really intricate and ambiguous.

Most folk songs have very few instruments, the most common one being the acoustic guitar, which is what is used here as well. A violin has also been used to accentuate the mood of the song: melancholy. LaMontagne’s raspy, country voice basically complements the song all too well. The song is an excellent song, fairly speaking, and deserves to be awarded with more recognition, if at least not a Grammy. Hopefully, Ray will rise to the top of the charts in the upcoming years; I’m definitely here rootin’ for mah boy!

SLOW DANCING IN A BURNING ROOM

Artist: John Mayer

Genre: Blues/Soul (Acoustic)

Notable lyrics:

I was the one you always dreamed of

You were the one I tried to draw

How dare you say it’s nothing to me

Baby you’re the only light I think I ever saw

I make the most of all sadness

You be a bitch because you can

The acoustic version is much better than the album version, take my word for it.

I don’t know where to begin or where to end, with the blissful experience this song imparts. It’s like you’re being encircled with a faint warmth of John’s voice and the guitar tune, whenever you listen to it. Writing this song definitely wasn’t a piece of cake, it speaks for itself. Only a professional song-writer can put words together and add such beautiful sense and elegance to it.

The burning room is simply a metaphor for a worn-out relationship where all you do is tear each other apart and the slow dancing signifies the torture one endures while falling apart completely. The song is all about finding beauty within the chaos itself and finally letting the inevitable happen: letting go; ‘Nothing is permanent but change’, as Heraclitus originally said.

While penning down such original and heart-felt lyrics, John has also made shewed use of his guitar skills, his fondness for some great Blues and make the absolute best craft out of it. What is considered to be one of his most emotional song, the tune is a favorite among the fans and is hailed as a significant milestone in his career of making music; this level of excellence has remained almost unachievable by modern blues artists (there aren’t many). What I fear is that faulty collaborations and a plethora of impure genres have resulted in the dying out of the once highly regarded genre of blues, and I can’t stress that enough. While John Mayer has been a dedicated Blues fan and keeps bestowing upon us, beautiful tunes, a vast number of other Blues artists remain unrecognised, something we shouldn’t be entirely proud of. While most popular artists long after abstract versatility, they corrupt their songs with insincere and physical versatility, which isn’t always compatible with all genres.

The song is recorded in an intimate setting with just the enchanting vocals and acoustic guitar, miles away from the album recording. John remains to be enthralled by Soul music till date and delivers consistent performances with each album, a popular reason you should start listening to the fairly popular artist. Also, addressing the elephant in the room – the infamous controversial interviews, I suggest you learn the difference between a person’s personal and professional life and LET IT GO (I will admit to my indiscreet predilection for Mayer, at this point). This song is proof enough to highlight what an excellent artist and a brilliant performer he is (here’s a few pictures to prove his dedication to playing his guitar), and I HOPE he’ll be a noted member of the Rock ‘n Roll hall of fame in the nearby future.

 

 

ALL I’VE EVER KNOWN

Artist: Bahamas

Genre: Indie blues

Notable lyrics: 

And now my memory
Seems to be failing me
What once was fantasy
Is all I’ve ever known.

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of figure-skating and honestly, the music is more essential than you can imagine; it’s the spine of your performance. if I could skate on ice for one song, for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Beautiful guitar notes, beautiful voice, beautiful mood, beautiful configuration, beautiful demeanor and beautiful meaning; a truly rare specimen of its kind, it manages to stand out from the nonchalant crowd of underappreciated music. the song smoothly transitions into the more, significantly amorous part that will leave your feet hanging from being swept away. the lyrics are just another add-on to the entire aesthetic (and I say that unironically). Afie’s voice complements the song so ludicrously that it’s almost a perfect yin to the yang. once you close your eyes and chuck your inhibitions away, letting yourself be completely vulnerable to the feeling of nostalgia/emptiness, that’s when the song appears to be more than just a song. it’s a feeling of pain, of being in love, of wanting to be in love, knowing nothing lasts forever. the pain can be sweeter than you reckon and this is an evidence. the combination of the painting in the video and the song speaks languages you’d  never thought you’d understood, despite never having been in  that state of trance before. It’s one of the purest things to do, completely surrendering yourself only to be able to feel something so absurd yet transcendental; that’s one thing money can never buy.

love can be so very versatile. you don’t have to be in love with a person, it can be just an idea of the person, it can be a tangible work of art. I completely dispatch my senses while listening to this song and that’s how I know I love it; that’s how I’m sure of the meaning behind it, the effort, the tears and a chunk of the creator that had remained incipient for most part.

P.S. press ‘Psychedelia’ at the very top of this page to visit my actual website. You won’t regret it. Go on, give it a try.

 

 

 

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS

Artist: Otis Redding

Genre: R&B/soul

Notable lyrics:

 Squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave her

Get to her, try, try

Just try a little tenderness, ooh yeah yeah yeah

You got to know how to love her, man,

you’ll be surprised, man

It’s obvious why this song belongs to the genre of ‘soul’ – he puts his soul into it. this song is an excellent specimen of craftsmanship with a heavy dose of drama and perseverance. it almost sounds as if Otis sung the whole song in a single take a.k.a the professional way.

Evidently, this gem from the 60’s, or the ‘era of mind-blowing, skilled & hand-made music’ came to me via ‘pretty in pink’ in which our dear Ducky performs his infamous dance for the same song. as drawn as I was to the song, I immediately looked for it and lo! I’ve got a new dance anthem on my playlist!

As groovy as this song is, it begins as a romantic ballad and slowly makes your feet do their thang. with an intelligent use for saxophones, this song definitely deserves its position in the ‘rock n roll hall of fame’. this sensual song is what one would describe as ‘an original “Hey Jude”’, (they were also released 2 years apart, the Beatles’ song being the latest one) with the essential lessons about wooing a potential lady and keeping her happy and satisfied (take it any way you want). Otis’ raspy and breathless voice gives the song it charm and makes it a spectacle. the song overall remains energetic and yet, consistent.

The next time you find yourself hosting a good ol’ 60’s party, make sure this tune makes it onto your playlist.