POP EXPLORED. Part three. I know nothing about pop and am inevitably prejudiced. But Tone Deaf covers all music and I need to listen and learn. I’m apprehensive. These three songs represent the two generations after mine. Surely they’re going to be extreme – but in what way?
Tim Minchin (illustrated), White Wine in The Sun (Recommended by Cool Kid, granddaughter’s boyfriend). A piano! Monotonous on-the-beat three/four-chord accompaniment to limited-dynamic but pleasant song. Australian Tim likes Christmas but not Christianity though is willing to break bread with Archbishop Tutu. Long unscannable lines like operatic recitative. Sample: “I don’t go in for ancient wisdoms; I don’t believe just because I’ve got ears ourtenacious (Played it four times - that’s my best guess.) means that they’re worthy.” Charmingly old-fashioned.
Keane, Somewhere Only We Know (recommended by Younger Daughter). Acoustic guitars (?), briefly reduced to single-string picking, piano added later. Starts quietly, gets noisier. Chubby-cheeked lead singer must be about 14 (judging by mimed video) and has a tiny voice. OK by me; it’s the shouting I feared. Lyrics less audible than Minchin’s but I get the drift: he’s back where he knows “pathways like the back of my hand” and finally asks question: “Is this the place we used to love?” Not offensive but neither is it individualistic.
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs. (Recommended by Younger Daughter’s husband) Very traditional four-bar intro on block-chorded acoustic guitars, though the sound thickens up as other instruments are added. Guitars are forwardly recorded blotting out the lyrics. The singing is more adventurous than Keane and employs passages of falsetto descant – well sort of.
Conclusion: All three much gentler than I expected. Instrumental music not very ambitious (cf. Paul Simon). Not much expected of drummers. Minchin’s simplicity makes him most memorable