I think I liked this song for ages because it was just after I’d learnt how to play major-7 chords on guitar, one of which begins the track, and I’d decided that was all pretty advanced and special.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t developed a problem with major-7 chords, some of my best chords are major-7s, but I have developed a problem with the song.
The verses are fine, especially the second one with its percussion on the ride and hi-hat. Lyrically I quite like it, although I distinctly remember thinking it was more profound than it sounds now. When you’re 16 the subject of social group dynamics and trying to get with girls is pretty intellectually stimulating. Actually I won’t sit here typing on my high horse – I still find those subjects very worthwhile topics of conversation. But the lyrics do come across a bit juvenile now.
Am I constantly underestimating my younger self? I think I might be. Not musically, no. These songs really are quite bad. But I think I was ‘aware’, mentally. I like to think my 16 year old self was adopting a sort of ironically self-referential yet wearily and dismissively distant yet resigned and trapped yet wise and knowing approach to these themes. It’s just so difficult to tell now. The impact of the sound on my ears doesn’t make me think: ‘this guy’s got it going on. He knows what’s what and he isn’t afraid to tell us’.
The title. I still come across this issue almost daily. The word is ‘because’, we’re all aware of that. But the lyrics are definitely ’cause’, which of course is an accepted abbreviated form. But it never looks right to me. I always read it as ’cause’ like ’cause and effect’. My whole life I have used ‘cos’ cos it reads more like a colloquial abbreviated form. Which, again, is ok, many people do that. In texts, in emails, on facebook. But it doesn’t look right in a title. There is the conundrum. I have preserved it nonetheless, for the sake of historical accuracy.
(It strikes me that this whole paragraph is the sort unlikely to make it past the 1st draft of a piece of writing. It’s definitely staying.)
Anyway, that chorus is meant to be a ‘big’ chorus, but it’s too messy for that. Every instrument goes in and out of time in amounts small enough to not sound like obvious mistakes, but large enough to prevent you from enjoying the song. The repeated line ‘he’s smiling cos he made it’ is too simple for the scene the rest of the song sets up. I want some sarcasm, or anguish, or tension, or any sort of emotion besides bland smugness. And then we get that awful bit at the end where I put some ‘character’ into the line by shortening the words to ‘he’s sm-li- c- he made it’, or whatever, and then it gets more bouncy, and I don’t normally take the Lord’s name in vain, but god it just doesn’t work, especially when I try to elaborate a bit on the melody and just sing some random higher notes in a strained uncertain sort of way.
The bridge is a random blues. It’s noteworthy because the blues does feature in a lot of my songs, but it does sound a bit like a fragment of a different song has been squashed in to eat up some seconds. Maybe it was. Anyway, all in all it’s a track that gets worse as it goes on.
Second on the playlist is a remix I did a bit less than a year later. ELECTRONIC MUSIC IS COMING, is the message, and what an important message that is, looking back on everything. Electronic sounds would begin to seep in from that moment onwards, although very gradually at first.
Musically, the remix has the advantage of being a year later, benefitting from slightly more knowledge on my part. It has the disadvantage of being an act of flogging a dead horse. 4/10.