Friday, 9 January 2009

Somebody out There, Somebody Somewhere?

Some of you may recognise the work of FSteven, a very talented graphic artist. He has produced work similar to this before but this picture wins it for me hands down. I think its absolutely stunning. The beautiful lyrics wrapped around a picturesque landscape combined with David at the bottom sitting in the grass holding a guitar just oozes class, finesse and beauty. Great job. I have also drawn some inspiration to actually write a little bit about this track. Ive been really wanting to write something about this song for ages but I always felt like I didnt really know it well enough - I hadn't learned it, I didnt know any background of it but now I think I do. I really wanted to have the song fully digested in my mind. This song is my favorite of the 17 tracks that were released on November 11th. It is evidence of a fact that great artists like The Beatles proved so well, sometimes simplicity is the best. Less is often more.

The first thing struck me about this track was the refreshingly cleanliness of its sound and simplicity of its arrangement. A couple of acoustic guitars, some small maraca like percussion, a very subtle bass guitar and the small interjection of some strings to add some atmosphere. No big production, no synth. Just a voice and an accompaniment - the way David was intended to be. In an interview with Snarky Archies, co writer of this song Mike Krompass talked about how this song was written, how effortless and quick a writing session was. How he started with a guitar riff idea and how David just came out with the opening melodic idea practically straight away. That is often the way with song writing, you get a great idea and you just run with it, the rest just comes flooding in. I can definitly hear that fluency here in this song. The verse effortlessly flows into the chorus and eventually resolves on a beautiful major lift back into the next verse and the bridge slots in beautifully adding a different colour whilst maintaining the emotional and rhythmical core of the song. That is how all great bridges are. It is just a beautifully constructed song and coincidentally enough I too thought it sounded like Extreme's classic 'More Than Words' on first listen which Mike later said as well in his interview.

I challenge you people to think of any other Pop artist in the Billboard charts today who you think could pull off this song, or a song like this, vocally as well as David. Chris Brown? Ne-Yo? No chance. The depth of his singing in this song is quite amazing (a glimpse of his true potential, dare i bring out the G word) The open resonance of his voice, the dynamic control and the way he annunciates words and phrases to convey what the lyrics are really describing, well, I could probably talk about every single line here. Instead, I will give you a few of my favorites. From the smooth and tender 'its worth it when you smile' to the intense and yearning 'It doesnt have to hurt you forever' and 'when worries control you' on the last chorus. This song takes you on a ride from the beautiful, tender and romantic first verse through into the intense and yearning second verse whilst still dropping in those soft moments as he describes the person hes singing about it. Such amazing attention to the aesthetics of the lyrical content and how to build it up, bring it back down, climax it and then end it by capturing the beauty, yearning and romance all at the same time. He isnt just singing a song hes telling a story, expressing emotions and feelings. I truly believe in what hes singing and who hes singing it for. But again, as always with David its subtle. You really have to listen to take notice of these things but they always have an effect on you, subconciously. Everytime I listen to this song, no matter where it is, how many people are around, I always tear up inside a little. If you really concentrate on it, the effects can be quite amazing. The other thing I love about this song is the clarity of Davids voice in it. His soft and wholesome mid tone for the verse and then his higher but slightly restrained voice for the chorus moving into his falsetto/headvoice for the major lift. Effortless control throughout.

I liken this song very much to the Love Me Tender performance. I think its a pretty special track and im so glad that it didnt get thrown on the scrap pile but I am perplexed as to how a song of this quality didnt make it to the final CD (I prefer it to both You Can and To Be With You). Who knows what other gems could be out there? The thing I find most encouraging though is the fact David wrote it. All the songs he was involved in writing show a great attention to melody and lyrical content and the Bonus tracks give us a glimpse of David as a true artist. Songwriting takes practise too, if this is only 1 of his first attempts at songs like this, who knows what future songs could be like? I can't wait to find out.


TOfan said...

Beautifully put, Chenson. I love this song's powerful simplicity.

Only the instrumental beginning reminded me of MTW, which was a very pretty song, but didn't provoke the feelings SOT does for all the reasons you mention. Thanks.

Teresa said...

Great review! I post as Freo on notingdavid. I enjoy your blog, too!

Hope David does promo in the UK! I am following that closely and can't wait to see his appearances on the British shows. I live in the USA, but have lived in Britain extended periods of time.

desertrat said...

Love the review! I always learn so much about music and the music industry from reading your commentaries on the various David forums and blogs. Please do continue the "shameless self promotion" of your writings! They're some of the best and very informative. :-)

desertrat said...

I forgot to add, I post as ebonyangel on notingdavid.

solana said...

Well said, Chenson. I have read your previous reviews of David's performances on AI7, and I must say I am very impressed with your analysis. If you hadn't said you are a similarly aged musician as David and a music student, I could have thought that you've been critiquing music for some time as a profession. You write very well and have very astute observations.

SOT is a very subtle but powerful song. And I agree with you that only David can give this song it's life, a personal story sung from the heart, and make you feel every little emotion behind the lyrics. At his young age, David is exhibiting undeniable potential in being within the league of great artists, like Steven Spielberg who is a great storyteller in his movies. David is a great storyteller in his music. He is spellbinding.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chenson, I love this song too!

Can you do me a big favour of deleting a previous comment I made sometime ago (including this one!).

The link is below.

The comment was:
Wowee I just love that archie tour poster! Thanks for having this blog... will keep checking it. It's lookin great so far!! :)

Lol... it's a veerrrryyyy long story! But if it's not too much trouble, i would be most grateful!

Anonymous said...

It's "me" again, thanks so much for deleting it! (the comment) Is it possible to get rid of the "name" too lol... If it's not than it's still cool. I don't actually know how it got there in the first place... Thanks so much again...

lyrix said...

Thanks Chenson for this wonderful post on such a beautiful song. It's been 2 years since I was introduced to David's music and still 2 years later, I am still discovering wonderful things about David and his music.