Category Archives: Daily Duranie Reviews

Too Late Marlene – The Daily Duranie Review

It’s review time again!! This week, we are moving on to Too Late Marlene. This song, along with several others, stand out in solid contrast from the previous reviewed tracks on this album that seem to be in more of a “house” type genre…did the contrast help or hurt the album and/or song?  Let’s find out!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation

I love the way this song opens with just a simple piano/synthesizer loop. It’s got a very smooth-jazz feel to it, and just feels easy, which is  of course in wonderful contrast to the frenetic, “rave” styling of songs like All She Wants Is or even Big Thing.  You can’t help but take a deep breath and slow down for this one. The drums and percussion on this are near-perfect with plenty of subtle high hat. The point is to feel it, but not necessarily be jarred awake by it. I also have to comment on my favorite part of the entire song – the sax solo. It is GORGEOUS. Short, simple and to the point, it really drives home the jazz feel to this song, and I appreciate the simpleness to the instrumentation. There aren’t a lot of layers going on and that keeps the music clean and true.

Vocals

Simon’s voice is excellent on this one. Yes, I know – we all think he’s excellent all of the time, but I would say especially so on this one. Deep, full and easy, this is when Simon is at his best. No special effects needed here, there’s no need. I also really appreciate the female backup on this one, it adds just enough to keep the song lush without taking away.  If only they could all be like this… (then of course it wouldn’t be Duran Duran, would it?)

Lyrics

Hear my words: this is a gorgeous song. I love the lyrics because they describe just about every single relationship I’ve ever had. Dream or reality, fantasy or real-life…I love the way this song describes relationships. I like that this person is described as coming out of nowhere, and that he thinks he knows the person well enough to show a little bit of himself…because when you’re beginning a relationship, there’s always this little sense of being unsure. Yet further in the song the lines “Send down your rain, then who’s to blame, then you’ll understand it’s much too late to change.” and then very clearly “I won’t leave”…it’s kind of his “No matter what, I’m staying” statement. I love it. Yes, deep down I’m a sucker for good relationships and happy endings. Poetic? Maybe not…but I don’t think poetry is what necessarily makes a good song.

Overall

For being included on an album that is well-documented as being the band’s foray into house and club/rave music….this song sounds (delightfully) more similar to Save a Prayer than say, Big Thing.  I really love the way it slows down, and I must admit that it has always been a standout on this album for me by far. The bass and rhythm does a terrific job balancing out the melody, and the song is just incredibly well-written and recorded. This song reminds me, and probably any fan who has listened to it, that yes, this really is the same band who came to us with Save a Prayer…and about the time this was released, we really needed that reassurance that yes, even though this band likes to try new things and at least partially recreate their musical “space”…they’re still the same.  So. Much. Talent. I wish they’d include it in their show every once in a while, just to freak out all of the Duranies in the audience. You know, for kicks?? The band would see all of our jaws hit the ground in surprise…and I’d practically start swooning at the sax solo. Who doesn’t want to see that?!? In all seriousness, it’s a great song, definitely among the best on this album, and yet it’s severely overlooked, which is a shame.

Cocktail Rating

5 cocktails!!

5 cocktails

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation

This song is so clearly different than the first three song on the Big Thing album.  It is slower with less intensity.  It reminds me of how long dance songs featured in clubs are intense, intense, intense for long minutes before there is a break in the middle of the song to give people a chance to catch their breaths before the intensity picks back up again.  Anyway, in this song’s case, the most notable instrumentation is those keyboards, which are really beautiful.  Of course, the rhythm section works well to create a solid framework.  The song does not have a lot of extras–it is allowed to be simple and clean.  The one significant extra is the sax solo about two-thirds of the way through. Its placement in the song is where typically a bridge is placed and functions in a similar way.  The use of the saxophone is definitely something Duran has done throughout their career with positive results.  While the instrumentation is beautiful and creates a calm feeling, the question becomes:  is it too calm?  Too quiet?  Does it get lost in the shuffle of the rest of the album?

Vocals

Simon’s vocals are something special here, aren’t they?  They are very smooth with little straining even when hitting the higher notes of the song.  I appreciate that he demonstrates such a range in this song as well.  He is able to transition from lower notes to higher notes with ease.  As for the background vocals, generally, I like them but I’m not fond of the additional “too late”s that come in by the backing vocalist.  To me, it distracts and takes away from what Simon and the instrumentation is able to do.

Lyrics

This is one of those songs that I would have to stop and think really hard about the lyrics besides the chorus.  It isn’t one that people learn the lyrics to easily.  The words don’t get stuck in one’s head beyond the chorus.  I just never really stopped to listen and consider them.  I think the beauty of these lyrics is that everyone can take some part, some line, some verse and relate to it in some way, in terms of their own lives and their own dealings with people and relationships.  For example, the line about how “the ice is thin” is one that everyone can relate to as we have all had relationships (romantic, friendship or otherwise) that could crack at any second.  That said, I always wondered why they settled on the name, Marlene.  It isn’t the most common of names and there is a part of me that always wondered if the name doesn’t hurt how much people could connect to the song since a name implies something individual rather than universal.

Overall

There are songs that we have reviewed that I think are both beautiful and are ones that people choose to listen to a lot.  Then, there are songs that people think are fun and want to listen to but don’t show off the band’s skills in a significant way.  This song, on the other hand, is a beautiful song.  Yet, I fear that it is one that gets overlooked frequently by many Duranies because of the slowness, because of the poetic lyrics, because it wasn’t played over and over in the way that other ballads from their catalog have been.  While the instrumentation is beautiful as are the vocals, I do think the use of the name and the female backing vocals, at times, impact, at least, my enjoyment of the song.  That said, this is exactly the song that was needed to break up for the intensity of side A of the Big Thing album.

Cocktail Rating

4 cocktails!

4 cocktails rating

All She Wants Is – The Daily Duranie Review

This review finds us examining the song, All She Wants Is. This song was the second single off of the Big Thing album and peaked at number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart (but spent a total of 13 weeks on the charts in some fashion). Should it have done better? Should it have even been a single?  Read and find out what we think then share your thoughts!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

I’ve always thought it was interesting and unique how the song begins solely with tracks of Simon’s voice, slightly out of sync. The instrumentation grows from there, with drums and background percussion, then a distorted guitar, some bass and keyboards following. Oddly, for this song, the instrumentation is rather simple by Duran Duran standards. I like the roughness of the guitar – because here you’ve got a sound that is very much “club-like”, almost like house music, and yet Duran Duran adds a soaring rock guitar “solo” (so to speak) right over the top.  Risky? Maybe, but it works brilliantly for a song that could otherwise be boring.

Vocals:

I like the way Simon opens up the song with the monotone “chant” of  “all she wants is”.  I agree with Amanda when she says the song reminds her of Big Thing – I think it’s because of the chanting.  Out of all of the songs on Big Thing, this one reminds me most of House or Industrial club music that was popular in the 1990’s. (am I dating myself?? Goodness…) Vocally for Simon, I don’t think the the song is particularly difficult – it’s within his range, and really the song is far more a testament to the band’s willingness to take risks and try new styles than it is about vocal ability for Simon.

Lyrics:

I think the song is fairly obvious in that it’s about women who have to use whatever means possible to get ahead in the world.  Rather than focusing on the task at hand, they’re thinking about the goal farther down the line. This is a song that I can sing word for word, but I never really THINK about the words at hand. The band has always been very good at that – giving rather benign words to even the most controversial of subjects so that the listener can find whatever they need to find (or not find) in the lyrics.

Overall:

This is one of those songs that is easy to use as a club mix because it can blend well with other songs. That said, it is also easy to tune it out because of the fact it is incredibly repetitive throughout, but it has also earned its way as a crowd pleaser with the DD catalog for many fans. It does grab your attention, and is by far the best representation of industrial or house music within their catalog. Who knew Duran Duran could pull that off?!? Lyrically, it is easy to forget what the song is really about, which is unfortunate. I think the lyrics tend to get lost within all of the “All she wants is” chanting. My favorite part of the entire song though is the guitar – that saves it all for me because it is so different and really very unexpected within this genre. Overall however, this song has never been a favorite of mine, although I give high props to the band for going this route and trying something so different. Duran Duran is nothing if not versatile and willing to take risks.

Cocktails:

3.5 cocktails!

3.5 cocktails

Amanda:

Musicality/Instrumentation:
Like the first track on this album, it is difficult to even think about the music/instrumentation, especially in the beginning because the vocals are SO front and center.  It is really interesting, though, when you do focus on it to realize how minimized the instrumentation is for the first 15 seconds or so.  Then, of course, there is more instrumentation and then a few seconds after that even more.  The music builds and it creates a level of intensity, musically.  Once the song gets going, a couple of elements stick out to me.  First, there is the clapping sound that showcases the song’s rhythm.  Then, the instrumentation, especially guitars, sounds distorted in a way, creating almost an industrial feel.  Yet, the top layer of drums remind me of drums that would be found on Notorious.  The effects create a very danceable sound, even if a bit darker than the usual Duran sound.

Vocals:

Immediately, this song reminds me of the song, Big Thing.  You can instantly tell that they are from the same album/era.  Before the music totally kicks in, there is the chanting of “All She Wants Is” done with quite a bit of vocal effect.  Then, of course, there is the female moaning done mostly in the beginning but some towards the end, which definitely implies this something is sexual in nature.  This is a much more in your face sexuality than the Duran in the past.  Yet, Simon’s vocals during the verses remain smooth, easy.  The song ends with the chanting chorus, moaning and more creating a bookend to the beginning of the song, showing that the chorus really does dominate.

Lyrics:

This is one of those songs that I sing every word when I hear but never really thought about what the lyrics might mean.  When I stop and really look at them, it seems to me that it is about a woman who is trying to figure out a way to make it in the world.  Perhaps, this person is all alone and looking for that special job or that break.  Until that happens, though, she is left to do what she must do.  Could she be a prostitute or something similar?  I suppose it is possible with lines like, “You’ve been pulling ‘em by the hand inside”.  Yet, clearly, she wants so much more than she has.  What I find interesting is how easily the chorus and the repeating of the phrase “all she wants is” really works for Duranies and for fandom, in general.  It seems to me that the goal could have been to lure people, fans to the song by getting them to think it is about the band and about how Duranies want them.  Yet, of course, when you actually look at the lyrics, it has nothing to do with that.  They did the same thing with Big Thing.  Clever.

Overall:

This song definitely matches the other tracks on side A of the Big Thing album.  It has in-your-face vocals and lyrics that catch your attention.  Is it the most intellectual song?  Probably not.  Is it the most fun song in the Duran catalog?  Probably not.  Nonetheless, it is one that catches your attention and one that you can sing along with.  That said, it has also easily pass beyond the fun to the annoying.  I tend to appreciate the song more after not hearing it for awhile.

Cocktail Rating:

3 cocktails!

three cocktails

Video Review of Duran’s Pressure Off

We have often threatened to do video blogs.  Today, we decided to make that threat a reality.  Why today?  Simple.  A certain song by a certain band was made available.  Yes, that’s right.  We finally could hear Duran Duran’s Pressure Off in its entirety.  Therefore, Rhonda and I took the time to listen to the song for the first time together and then did a video of our brief review.  How did the band do?  How did Nile Rodgers do?  What about Janelle Monae?  Do we think it could be a hit?  Will be a hit?  Should be?

In case you have not heard it yet, here are a couple of places to check it out yourself:

X-Box
Rdio
Google Play
Vimeo

Duran Duran also posted that it will be available via Amazon UK and US but isn’t so far as of this post.

On that note, here’s what WE think of the song.  Listen to the song, watch our review and then share your review!

-A

 

I Don’t Want Your Love – The Daily Duranie Review

Today we are reviewing “I Don’t Want Your Love”, the second song on  Big Thing and the album’s first single. The song debuted and peaked at #14 in the UK, but did much better throughout Europe, particularly in Italy where it spent 6 weeks (non-consecutively) at #1. In the US, the song also did well, where it peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play. The chart success of the song is evident, but what do a couple of US  fans think?

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation

From the first notes, you can tell this is going to be a big dance track. I very much like the “empty space” between the staccato notes and the way the song opens into a full, bright chorus with deep grooving bass to support the melody, and there just is no mistaking that this is Duran Duran. The guitar solo is gritty and adds just the right amount of texture. This is a song that very much feels like a natural progression from Notorious, keeping the heavy background vocals and even the horns as a hold-over, but still continuing to evolve the sound. The band did right by this song, because it would have been very easy for IDWYL to have gone too far over the edge into club/dance music for my taste. Touches like the bass, the rock guitar solo and the bits of horns help to keep the song from feeling too synthetic and –wait for it — contrived.   🙂

Vocals

I like the vocals on this song because of the effect that Simon puts on them. His slight staccato (tenuto?) in the verse leaves this fantastic silence in between the notes that is really catchy.  I also love the harmonizing because it provides a bit of depth.  Then in the chorus, it is as though the floodgates fully open and you get an incredibly full music/vocal melody that I don’t think you can NOT physically react to by dancing. I’ve tried. Impossible.

Lyrics

There are so many lyrical “hooks” in this song…how can you not love it? The song as a whole though…it’s great writing. I think it’s pretty clear that the song is about a little something-something on the side between two people, really. (Yes, I’m really saying it’s about SEX this time.) Simon is saying that it’s not about “love”…and that whatever this person has to give is OK by him, even if it’s secret.  Some favorite lines? “My obsessive fascination is in your imagination”…”I like noise, cuz I like waking up the house” “The rhythm is the power, to move me, it’s something you control, completely.” Whatever, Simon.  I don’t know how you do what you do, but I love it.

Overall

Confession time – this is not one of my personal favorites, believe it or not. I’d actually forgotten how great the song is, primarily because it’s gotten to the point (for me) when they play it live, I nearly tune it out. That’s the risk when you overplay the songs in your set list that have been in the Top Ten. That said, it’s a great song. Well-balanced between melody and rhythm, fantastic lyrics, a great guitar section that I only WISH they’d allow to happen today, and if you can’t dance to this song…I just don’t know what your problem might be.

Cocktail Rating

4.5 cocktails!4.5 Cocktails

 

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation

This is one of those songs that just screams “typical Duran dance/pop” to me.  It feels like what people think of when they think of Duran.  Instrumentation is present, meaning that it isn’t just a bunch of beats but uses actual instruments in order to create the  predominant mood/feeling.  In this case, the mood that is created is an uplifting one, a happy one, a get-up-and-dance one.  A little more than half-way, Warren’s guitars are really present during the bridge of the song, which reminds me of what is done to John’s bass in a much later song, The Valley, on the Red Carpet Massacre album allowing the instrumentation to be placed in the musical spotlight.  During the bridge, the music seems louder and more aggressive and I always wonder the same thing every time I hear it.  Does it fit with the rest of the song?  It isn’t the first time that Duran has had different instruments step into the spotlight during a bridge.  Heck, the song, Rio, features saxophone.  The question is does this particular bridge fit the song?  I can’t imagine something different there and I do like that there is a bridge.  I think that it’s good and provides the necessary contrast.

Vocals

This is an interesting song, vocally.  First of all, the verses are clearly Simon with cool vocals effects.  Then, the chorus feels very full with Simon and backing vocals.  I like that, at times, one of the two backing vocalists (Janiece Jamison or Carole Fredericks) is clearly heard, creating an additional element to the vocals.   The different vocals fit well with the lyrics about a person of two minds or of two love interests.  Overall, I think the vocal style of this song encourages people to sing along and join the party, so to speak.

Lyrics

The lyrics to this song don’t seem super deep or thought provoking.  They don’t create a lot of emotions in me.  That said, I love the lyrics as they are sort of a twist on a regular love song.  The story here is obvious, right.  There is an interest (*wink wink, nudge nudge*) between two people.  One of those people is attached to someone else or can’t completely commit for whatever reason.  Clearly, the narrator isn’t looking for “love”, per se, but some sort of understanding, some sort of affair, some sort of action.  The narrator isn’t looking for a commitment as much as a good time.  I also love the idea that the narrator feels it necessary to explain that this isn’t an obsession…yet, this other person still has an effect on him.  I like that the lyrics don’t tell of a simple love interest or romance.  No, it is about a complex attraction.  While the song could just be your basic pop song, they didn’t just go for the obvious with the lyrics to match.

Overall

Is this song the most sophisticated?  No.  Is it the most intense or most beautiful?  No.  Is the production a bit too slick?  A bit too polished?  Perhaps.  Yet, despite its faults, it is a fun song.  It makes you want to dance and sing along.  While I feel like the song was an attempt at some commercial success and/or radio play, I appreciate that they didn’t stick to some formula about what the song should be about or like.  It still feels very much like Duran, as does each element of the song.

Cocktail Rating

4 cocktails!

4 cocktails rating

 

Big Thing – The Daily Duranie Review

We are finally onto a new album!!  Next up is Big Thing, and this week we will review the title track. Big Thing was released in 1988 and reached #15 in the UK and #24 in the US.  Big Thing also marks the first full album with Warren Cuccurullo, although he was not a full songwriting partner at this point, and became a full-time member only after the band finished the Electric Theatre Tour in promotion of Big Thing. Were his contributions evident, and how did the band really change between Notorious and Big Thing?  Let’s take a deeper look!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation

This is SO different from Notorious, I have to wonder if it’s even the same band, and in many ways…it is not. They definitely turn the corner from funk into something entirely different.  Plenty of people characterize the album as the band’s foray into House Music…and while I’m not quite sure I’d call it House, it’s definitely leaning in that direction at times. Big Thing reminds me much more of aggressive dance music, and definitely doesn’t seem like the same band who wrote Rio or Girls on Film. I almost feel as though they were really trying to erase the band (for teenyboppers) they once were by going after a more mature, aggressive, sound.  I like the way the sound starts out with drum beats and then the chanting of the chorus with a plenty of guitar riffs in the background. The song has a ton of texture, and I do enjoy the way the juxtaposition of the rock, almost experimental-souding guitar feels against the synthesizer loops and even a horn section. I will say the latter 1/3  of the song is so filled with layer upon layer that it really begins to be frenetic cacophony…if you’ve got any sort of anxiety this song will send you over the edge.  This is the first full album where Warren Cuccurullo participates, and his influence is evident with the soaring hard rock guitar riffs. It adds an edge that has been missing to the music since the first album, which I applaud here.

Vocals

I have to say, I like the chanting of the chorus. It’s so different compared to their other albums, and it opens Big Thing perfectly. I like the way the song feels like call and response in certain sections. Otherwise, I think Simon’s vocals are well-matched to the song. This isn’t a song meant for mellow lyrics, and while I think Simon strains a bit in the higher sections of the verses, in some odd way it works for the song.

Lyrics

I have heard of these lyrics meaning one of two things to fans: the first being all about marketing and exploitation, and the other being sex. Sex is the go-to, easy answer here. With lyrics like “Lick it up, suck it up, stick it outside”…Simon didn’t give us much room to go elsewhere, did he? That said, I think that was the point, really. Let’s face it – “sex” is his pat answer for lyric meanings, and I’m assuming at this point that his feeling is that anything can have a sexual connotation. He’s probably right. That said, I can see the exploitation  and marketing angle as well. The chanting of the lyrics are almost as though they’re reciting what they’re being told…it’s almost robotic in a way. “This is temptation (station), power rotation (to station)” , it’s like they’re “selling” themselves and their music to get air play.  “So glad you came around, this time you won’t be wrong, You’ve got to turn it on, and you’re not the only one”…I personally think this song really is all about the business of getting their music heard.  That Simon, he’s a smart one with his lyrics… I say well-done.

Overall

I like this song, and I think it’s a fantastic album opener.  I like the way it’s a huge departure from the overall sound of Notorious, and that the band was willing to take a chance with their music and try something new. I think the song is cheeky and yet there’s still a message to hear for those who want to dig deep enough to find it, and I like that Simon was smart with his writing.  I welcome Warren’s addition to their music, and I really liked the hard edge he brought to the table here. The one negative I have for this song is the last 1/3 of the song is incredibly noisy with far too much going on, but I think that has more to do with the artistic choices than production, meaning it’s what the band wanted. I just don’t know that it translates all that well.

Cocktail Rating

3.5 cocktails! 3.5 cocktails

 

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation

This song is one that I struggle to even think about the instrumentation because the lyrics and vocals are so dominant, so noticeable.  Nonetheless, I attempted to focus on the instrumentation for the purpose of this review.  The song doesn’t allow you to just get into it slowly.  No, it right away starts with drums.  In fact, drums are pretty much present throughout, creating pretty aggressive instrumentation.  Guitars are there, too.  Keyboards, on the other hand,  do not feel like as major of an instrument in this one.  While this song is very different than the previous album, horns are still present.  Perhaps, they function as a transition of sorts.  The question then is this change from funk to more aggressive music a welcome change.  It definitely catches your attention and let’s everyone know that, once again, Duran Duran has changed.

Vocals

Where to start with the vocals on this one?  Clearly, this isn’t your usual Duran.  Instead of Simon singing, we have layered vocals during the chorus with each line being almost shouted or chanted.  The vocals are much more aggressive than what can be found on most Duran Duran songs.  What is interesting to me is that the lines that are less chanted give a sense that something untrustworthy or sneaky is happening.  Is this helped by the lyrics?  Absolutely.  Truly, there is a lot going on here vocally.  In fact, there is so much going on that you could probably listen to the song a bunch and still not catch it all.

Lyrics

If the vocals for this one don’t catch your attention, the lyrics probably will.  I don’t remember where I heard that this song is supposed to be about the attempts bands/artists make to get a song to chart or to move up the chart.  This meaning seems to fit, especially with lines like, “Move it up move it out move up the line.  This is temptation power rotation.” The lyrics definitely make me think that getting a song to chart is a lot of hard work and that you really have to convince people, which makes sense considering the work they attempted to do with the previous album, Notorious.  Obviously, the lyrics are built around a couple of principles.  First, there is a lot of repetition here, whether it is “get…get…get” or “bang…bang…bang”. Then, there are a lot of lines built around the idea of rhyming.  These are important for the vocal style that this song exhibits.  That said, while I understand why the lyrics are the way they are, I can’t say I’m a huge fan.  Could they be about radio play?  Sure.  Are they also written to imply sex?  Sure.  To me, both interpretations seem too obvious.

Overall

This song is so very different than most of Duran Duran’s catalog and certainly very different than Notorious.  While that isn’t bad, in and of itself, I’m not sure if this style really works for them.  To me, it feels like they were trying too hard to be something so different, so contemporary.  What makes it worse is that I think this song hasn’t aged well.  Maybe, it was great or had the potential to be great in 1988 but now it just sounds aged.

Cocktail Rating

2.5 cocktails!

20c1c-twohalfglasses

We Need You — The Daily Duranie Review

The Notorious album had three officially released singles:  Notorious, Skin Trade and Meet el Presidente.  Out of those three singles, there was only one new song released as a b-side.  The rest of the singles featured either other album tracks (Winter Marches On and Vertigo) or remixes of the single.  The only new b-side was a song entitled We Need You, which was the b-side to the song, Skin Trade.  According to the duranduran.wikia.com, the song was a plea for Andy to come back to the studio.  No matter the story behind the song, what do we think of the song?  Is a solid b-side?  Should it have been an additional album track?  Should it have never made it past the cutting room floor?  Read on to see what we think!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation

This song is about as far from the styling found on Notorious as possible. When I listen to this song on its own, I have difficulty placing it in the Notorious era, much less as a B-side to Skin Trade, which is interesting to me.  I would be far more likely to place it during the same time period as Secret Oktober…or even To the Shore in some ways. The music itself is mainly Nick’s keyboards/synthesizers with some piano, and it’s very mellow. For some reason I always liken the song to a lullaby.  There isn’t a lot to the song, it’s short and simple…but sometimes that’s all that is needed.

Vocals

Simon’s voice is soothing when he is in a key that is comfortable for him, and this song is no exception. That’s probably where I get the whole “lullaby” thing from, too.  I love the way he finishes his phrasing by fading and trailing off as opposed to abrupt finishes, it’s beautifully done. I don’t find his voice boring or unemotional here, I think “soothing” is the right word. He’s not frenetic or intense, just very calm, and letting the music, vocals and words speak for themselves without a lot of flash.  I like it.

Lyrics

With all due respect to duranduranwikia – I struggle with the theory that this song is about the band wanting Andy to return to the studio. I mean, I suppose it’s possible and some of the lyrics do fit that theory, but really – Andy was suing the band at this point. This is how the band wanted to respond to him? I am just not sure that’s the case and I don’t think I’ve ever heard the band say as much one way or the other.  I don’t know…seems to me that if this is really about Andy, it was written early on. I did notice that Simon said that he wasn’t interested in taking down or shaking down, and perhaps that is his response to Andy’s suit.  Who knows?! On a different note, I don’t think I’ve ever really had a personal response to these lyrics before, which doesn’t indicate much of anything aside from a lack of personal connection. Even if I don’t relate to them, I can’t fault the song – I’m not going to relate to every Duran Duran song written. The point is that there are enough songs that I do relate to that it keeps it all interesting. I think these lyrics are written well – just super short. Short, simple and probably to the point. Can’t argue with that!

Overall

This is a song that I play when I’m wanting something quiet and soothing. Peaceful. (It comes up on my playlist often around here, I’ll say that much) I wouldn’t say it’s one of my most favorites, but I just like the simple, unadorned method with which this song was written and recorded. Recently Simon said something about how he likes silence in the songs.  I do too, and this song has a lot of that.  During a time where it was very easy to be carried away by the advances in technology, I like that they let the music and the silence speak a little on its own.  The song is short compared to a lot of the songs in their catalog, but it’s also a B-side, and those B-sides are gems in my book. Yes, they’re sometimes a little obscure, and yes, sometimes they don’t follow all of the rules…which is exactly why I like them so much.  A lot of times I think the best songs they’ve done are the B-sides, because they don’t conform to expectations, and they just speak for themselves. I have to applaud that.

Cocktail Rating

3 cocktails! three cocktails

 

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation

Interestingly enough, this song, at least initially, does not scream the Notorious album to me, unlike every other track written and recorded during this era.  No, it sounds different.  The funk is definitely not present as almost whimsical keyboards are heard and dominate with other instrumentation hidden deeper in the track.  It almost seems to me that they were trying to capture the feel of Secret Oktober.  In that song, there isn’t much instrumentation heard beyond the keyboards.  It is also a short song, time wise and lyric wise.  Perhaps, because the song is so short, there aren’t many transitions and changes within it.  The only noticeable one is about a minute and a half in when percussion is heard more as are more piano sounding keyboards. The music of the song almost feels tropical or island to me which doesn’t really match with the lyrics or meaning of the song.

Vocals

There isn’t any wrong with Simon’s lyrics in this song.  In general, the song is in a decent range even though there are some lines that push towards the higher end.  Yet, there isn’t much that grabs me or moves me.  In general, Simon’s vocals seem very soft, quiet.  I also find them rather emotionless.  Now, if this song really was to try to get Andy back into the fold, these vocals wouldn’t have done it for me.  Perhaps, though, he is tired of the battle.  Maybe, he is tired of pushing, trying, attempting to bring him back.  The only real emotion that I can sense is during the chorus when Simon is singing the “we need you” part.  It helps that there is a little of layering at that point.

Lyrics

Obviously, these lyrics aren’t lengthy.  Really, there is a verse with a one-line chorus.  Do these lyrics match the idea that the song was written for Andy Taylor, to encourage him come back and join the band?  It is very possible with lines like “Too much has gone down” and “We could bring you gently round”.  If this, indeed, is the case, I’m sure that these lyrics really meant something to the band, at the time.  Yet, I find myself very detached from them.  They don’t make me feel emotion or think much.  Plus, the lyrics are so short.  I just wish that there had been more to the lyrics and, maybe, more mystery to the lyrics, too.  They need something to grab my attention and emotions.

Overall

I always feel like I should be kind when it comes to b-sides.  After all, I could assume that they didn’t take as much time on the song, right?  Yet, I know that there are many b-sides that could have and should have been not only a-sides but could have been singles (Secret Oktober and Late Bar, for example).  Overall, I just think that there isn’t anything very special about the song.  The music is fine.  The lyrics aren’t horrible and either are the vocals.  Yet, there also is nothing special to them either.  Even the potential meaning to the song doesn’t grip me.  Is it because I have come to terms with Andy’s departure?  Maybe.  I know many fans use this song to describe their feelings towards the band.  I haven’t done that either.

Cocktail Rating

2.5 cocktails
Two and half cocktails

Proposition — The Daily Duranie Review

We have finally hit the last song on the Notorious album.  This week, we take a look at the song, Proposition.  This is one of those tracks that is often overlooked.  Is that fair or should people pay more attention to it?  Read to find out what we think!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

There is no mistaking that this song is off of Notorious from the very first notes of Nick’s keyboards. Anytime I hear a horn section, I know that chances are – it’s from Notorious. I like that I can really hear John’s bass, and there is one small section where you can actually hear the guitar, imagine that! I find myself missing the days when the guitar actually mattered to this band and was used for more than just texture, which is one reason I tend to struggle with the entire Notorious album – it is not one of my favorite Duran moments. I know they were struggling to find a new identity without Roger and Andy, but I do miss a more audible and noticeable LEAD guitar. Musically the song is incredibly funky and jazzy…and when the guitar is allowed to be up in the mix, it provides a good deal of rock to balance the sound. The drums are good and I love the fill/pick up at the beginning of the song.

Vocals:

I must be in the minority, but I really do not love the moments when Simon is singing in a high register. He loses all depth and dimension to his voice, and it becomes falsetto…which really doesn’t work at all, and it weakens the entire song. I think it would have been far more effective to have Simon sing in a range that actually played to his talents rather than have him do falsetto. He has such a strong voice, why not use it?

Lyrics

This song is tougher for me to really understand, but for some reason I get the feeling it is about society forgetting about their children.  We promise to take care of our children, and yet somehow – so many end up starving, dying, getting into trouble, left for the streets to raise as their own. The song makes me uncomfortable, which probably means the lyrics do their job – they make me think about subjects none of us may want to consider, but we really should. Whether that’s really what Simon was getting at or not, I’m unsure..but isn’t that part of the fun with Duran songs?

Overall:

I struggle with the Notorious album. It is very funky, and I know that is as much a part of Duran’s history as is punk…but I struggle. The album really marks such a huge departure in sound, in personnel and even in the band themselves as they go from being the number one band in the world to something a little farther down on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. The song itself has some good: the bass, a guitar part that doesn’t mind being in the background and adding texture, a cohesive rhythm section, but it’s never been a favorite. The chorus quite honestly ruins the song a bit for me with the falsetto and tough to hear words, and the lyrics, while potentially interesting, never seem to hold my attention. I fade away whenever the song is on, which is disappointing.

Cocktail Rating:

2.5 cocktails! Two and half cocktails

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

As soon as the song begins, Nick’s keyboards are right there, front and center. As soon as the rest of the instrumentation jumps in, you know that this is a song off of Notorious. The guitars have the same style, for one, and horns are present and drums to help with transitions. Even with all of the instruments present, Nick’s keyboards still seem to play a major role. They are funky, for sure, and remain even when other instruments like guitar take the spotlight. One thing that is interesting to me is how little change there seems, musically, between verse and chorus. The only time there seems to be a real change is during the bridge about two-thirds of the way through. Then, the guitar really takes the spotlight along with keyboards. The funk is on high for most of the song.

Vocals:

I really like Simon’s vocals during the verse. It is at a good range for him and love how he emphasizes the last word in most lines in a very subtle way. Unfortunately, he totally loses me during the chorus. Why must the word “Proposition” and other part of the chorus be sung at that higher range? It doesn’t make show off Simon’s talents much. Why make Simon sing in such a high range? I find the words in the higher range even hard to understand. It is such a shame, too, since the verse shows great vocals. I have to wonder if the range of this song is the reason that I have never seen it on a setlist. (If you have, please let me know! I would love to know when and where they played this one live.)

Lyrics:

Before I take a look at the specific lyrics to this song, I refresh my memory about the specific meaning to this word. The meanings I found: a statement expressing a judgment or a suggested plan of action. Which definition matches the song? It seems to me that this song is about a crime. Is the baby dead? The baby’s head is cold, after all and this woman is to “pay for the crime of feeling”. Then, the next verse seems broader—more society and less individual. No matter who is to blame, the person is feeling guilty for something. I’ll be honest. I’m not sure what the song is really about. Could it be about a judgment? Maybe. I, generally, like lyrics that make me think, make me wonder, make me what to figure it out. Yet, these lyrics don’t intrigue me. I don’t know why. Maybe, it is the mentioning of the baby. Maybe the only interpretation I can come up with isn’t one I relate to or appreciate. Nonetheless, I find the lyrics disappointing.

Overall:

I want to like this song. I’m not a huge fan of the funk found on this album. If I was, I would probably love the instrumentation as it is full of the funk. The lyrics seem intriguing but the intrigue doesn’t last long. They are unable to keep my attention for some reason. Perhaps, the instrumentation and the lyrics don’t keep me into the song because of the chorus, which I don’t like. I want Simon to stay in the range of the verse. Yet, the chorus is at a much higher range and such that I can’t follow or sing along. I think the song has potential but doesn’t fulfill that potential.

Cocktail Rating:

2.5 cocktailsTwo and half cocktails

Winter Marches On — The Daily Duranie Review

Our reviews continue with the ninth song off of the album, Notorious.  The song is Winter Marches On and definitely represents THE ballad off of this album.  Is this a good ballad or not?  See what we think below then let us know what you think!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

Is there really a more melancholy song in Duran’s catalog?  Probably. But for now, we haven’t gotten there yet!  I love the emotion produced by the music for this one. When I listen, I can hear the tambourine, keyboards, and of course bass…which really helps to provide a rhythm with the absence of any other percussion aside from the tambourine. I also really like the melody line – which sounds like it could be a synthesized woodwind (clarinet or even oboe…they should have called me!!).  The music is very slow, and I think that it’s easy to pass this song by unless you’re really in the mood to sit, listen and ponder. The song certainly isn’t boring (not by a long shot!), but it also isn’t the type of song you necessarily want to hear when you’re in the mood for playing Wild Boys loud and proud in the car.

Vocals:

I might be in the minority, but I wish a few more Duran songs were written in this key/range for Simon. He has a gorgeous voice. I know we’re all about the party, but I love this slightly darker and chilled timbre. His voice has a beautiful roundness, and he is really the best when it comes to portraying emotion in his singing. One doesn’t even have to know the words to recognize the emotion in the song – vocals and music work hand in hand here to do bring that home. I really can’t find anything to complain about here!

Lyrics:

Not gonna lie – I have no idea what this song is about. Lines like “Birth time rose; a thorn for coronation” or “Soon you’ll belong to the blest, spare us your lives while we need you”. In some ways it reminds me of motherhood. Mostly, I think I completely lost the plot somewhere. I really like the line, “dreams have frozen crystal in the morning”….beautiful.  I’ll admit that I read Amanda’s interpretation below, and she might be right. I wouldn’t be surprised that Simon used this sort of analogy to describe fame, especially given the changes the band has already seen by this point. I always think of the saying “Be careful what you wish for.”

Overall:

This is a song that I have to be in the right mood to enjoy. It isn’t a song I would belt out in the car, nor is a song that I find myself yearning to hear – but having done this review, I found new appreciation for it. (It is the best part of doing reviews!!) I love that the slowness of the song almost forces me to really listen to each subtle nuance, from the way the tambourine accents the beat to the deep bass. The song slows me down, encourages me to take the time to sink within the music and think.  The music and vocals work together to create a very different emotion from most Duran Duran songs, and I really enjoy that. The sounds are simple, but purposeful. Winter Marches On isn’t particularly loud, noisy or even overproduced – which I applaud. Well done and worth many listens!

Cocktail Rating:  4 cocktails!

4 cocktails rating

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation:

The first word that comes to mind as Winter Marches On begins is atmospheric with the melancholy keyboards and the slow hits of what sounds like a tambourine.  Right away, you know that this isn’t going to the happiest of Duran songs.  The song continues in this fashion even as the vocals begin with some additional keyboard sound until finally some other instrumentation is heard with the deep bass adding to the mood of the song.  At one point, it sounds like there is some strings included but it is clear that this isn’t the usual Duran song in that there is little noticeable guitar and drums.  That isn’t to say that it is boring.  It isn’t.  It is just different.  If the goal was to create a beautiful, haunting song, the music did its job.

Vocals:

This song starts out, vocally, with Simon’s “oh”, “ah”, “hmm”.  Normally, I’m not a fan of little vocal additions like that but, in this case, it sets a tone of emotion and sadness.  Then, his vocals are generally slow in tempo and much lower in his range than what he did for the rest of the album.  I love how he elongates a number of words to add emphasis and emotion.  This is one of those songs that Simon’s voice really adds almost additional instrumentation.

Lyrics:

These lyrics intrigue me.  Who is the she that is referenced in the first verse?  Could it be fame?  “She drains emotion.  To drink from her breast of fortune”.  Then, the rest of the song sounds like it is being addressed to the band.  “Spare us your lives while we need you.”  Could that be from the fans?  The industry?  The next couple of lines definitely sound like what they were experiencing:  “Loud is the music the crowd is bringing.”  While the lyrics are on the shorter side, I do like that they make me think.  I also always feel like I can relate to the line about sparing one’s live while needed.  I certainly feel that at work, when I have my teacher hat on.  I suspect others might feel that way with their lives or where they are in their lives.  Lyrics like this definitely show me the connection between this album and the previous one as so much of Seven and the Ragged Tiger subtly discussed fame, being in the spotlight, etc.

Overall:

Winter Marches On is one of those songs that I would have dismissed, if I had not done this review.  I’m generally not attracted to ballads unless they offer something more (think Before the Rain).  This one, though, has some merit.  The lyrics made me think and I enjoy Simon’s vocals on this one a lot.  Musically, it isn’t the most interesting or most complex, but definitely works to create a mood and an atmosphere.  Thinking about the individual elements of this song definitely made me appreciate it more.
Cocktail Rating:  4 cocktails
4 cocktails rating

Daily Duranie Review — Meet el Presidente

Today, we continue our reviews of the songs off of the album, Notorious.  This time, we look at Meet el Presidente, the 8th song off the album and the third single.  This one did not do as well as hoped as it only made it to 70 in the U.S. single charts.  Should it have done better?  Read on to see what we think.

Rhonda on Meet El Presidente

Musicality/Instrumentation:

The song begins pretty brightly with an upbeat jazz, which is pretty atypical for Duran Duran. The bass is turned up in the mix, which is good because it tones down the brass section a bit and adds a little funk.  The song strikes me because of how far down in the tracks you have to go to really hear much of Nick – it’s as though they took the traditional Duran instruments and put them off to play in a corner while the brass section was brought out front to shine.  While that’s an interesting change of pace, this is Duran Duran, isn’t it?? The music is pretty syncopated, which again – is very unusual for Duran Duran, making the song unique.  Overall, the music doesn’t feel like it was written by the band…it feels very unnatural and out-of-place in their catalog. I commend them for being willing, but there’s something to be said for sounding like a Duran Duran song (aside from Simon’s voice of course).

Vocals

The song opens with a lot of ad-lib from Simon, it reminds me of someone who is trying to find the key before jumping into vocals, and for this type of song – it is appropriate, even if it truly doesn’t hold much in common with any of his other work with Duran Duran. That said, it continues throughout the song, and it’s annoying – it fills far more like “filler” than creating a casual, laid back way of delivering jazz vocals. Additionally, once again I find that the female voices are way, way, WAY too overdone here. Too loud, too overpowering, and way too much. That said, thank goodness Simon actually sang the song, otherwise you’d never know this was Duran Duran.

Lyrics

The one bright spot for me with this song is the lyrics. In some ways, they remind me of being a stay-at-home (I always laugh at that “home” part…more than half my day is spent in the darn car!!) with the way Simon says “She’s on demand at dinnertime”….but when you really listen, I think it’s about being a woman in general (from an enlightened man’s point of view, of course). Simon sings about a variety of different “typical” female societal roles, and I just have to smile at some of the lines. “She blew your money on taking a cruise” (um, yes. Yes I did.) “Hell hath no fury like a young girl’s ego” (and if you think the young girls are bad, you should probably be really afraid of the adult women…) I do laugh because the real deal is that yes, we women let the men think they are in charge, let them believe they’re making the big decisions, all the while we’re running off to concerts with our friends…and Simon gets it.  (Wait, maybe that’s just me??) No matter, the lyrics are smart and I love them. I do admit to playing this every once in a while when my husband is in the car, just to see if he even gets it (nope)…I do appreciate a good lyric! As an aside, this entire song reminds me of an interview with Yasmin. She explains that if a fan gets too friendly with Simon, she’ll walk up behind him and grab his crotch, proclaiming it to be hers.  Good for you, Yasmin!!

Overall:

So I’m not a huge fan of the music on this one, but I openly admit that the lyrics save it for me every single time…otherwise I’d probably pass this song right by every time it comes up. I really detest the back-up vocals because they definitely overshadow Simon’s vocals, and I really feel as though the Duran Duran “typical” instrumentation has been put in a virtual corner here – which is unfortunate.  This one song that I wish they’d rework and bring up to date, if for no other reason so that we can all sing it loud and proud live.

Cocktail Rating:    3 cocktails!

3 cocktails

Amanda on Meet El Presidente

Musicality/Instrumentation:

In general, the instrumentation of this song does not get the majority of my attention/focus except when the horns come in and they do frequently.  I’m typically not a fan of horns like this.  They are there too much and garner too much of the attention, musically.  They should be much more of a back up instrument or during a bridge, not the one in the spotlight, at least in Duran songs.  That said, I do like what is going, musically, at the beginning of the song.  There is John’s funky bass and Nick’s keyboards that go with and compliment.  This part doesn’t last too long, though, as the horns dive in quickly.  Guitar is there, too, but definitely takes a back seat.  I think that is unfortunate.  The funkiness continues through the rest of the song but vocals come in and dominant along with the horns.  The instrumentation of the band members is WAY overshadowed.  The band just feels lost to me.

Vocals:

Right away, I’m annoyed at the vocals as Simon starts out with the “yeah” and the “hmm”.  Are those needed?  Do they add to the song?  Of course, the additional female backing vocals repeating Simon doesn’t help. Now, the vocals during the verse are decent as Simon sounds strong and solid there.  Yet, as the song moves from verse to chorus, more backing vocals come in.  I find them distracting; they almost take away from Simon’s vocals.  Perhaps, the problem is that there are simply too many backing vocals throughout the whole song.  The chorus, as opposed to the verse, is a problem.  I dislike how Simon hits a real high note to alert the listener’s that the chorus is coming.  I much prefer Simon had the lower end of his vocal range.  Then the “oohs” during the chorus do nothing for the song at all.  It sounds more like filler than an enhancement.

Lyrics:

Interestingly enough, the lyrics to this song fascinates me and not just because Simon acknowledges teachers, but because the lyrics make me think.  Is this “Presidente” a leader of a country?  I don’t get the feeling that she is.  Then, what do we know about her?  She definitely seems like someone who seems to be objectified by men with lines like “she’s on the factory wall” which gives the impression that she is a centerfold of some sort and “She’s in demand at dinner time” which could imply an unequal division of household labor.  Yet, she is really the one “who’s in control” by these exact same behaviors with lines like “You’ve never refused with she lies back” and that if the men “step out of line”, they will “be abused”.  All of that would be interesting enough to me but then the line about “But hell has no fury like a young girl’s ego” almost reminds me a young fan, perhaps, a groupie.  The implication then is that the rock star shouldn’t “step out of line” and that she, in fact, has a weapon at her disposal, which could be the rock star’s fame, reputation, etc.  Then, I wonder if the song isn’t about a groupie breaking those stereotypes of how women should be.  Of course, I could be totally off base by my interpretation but, overall, I really like that the lyrics make me think.

Overall:

While I find the lyrics interesting and enjoy John’s bass along with a lot of the other instrumentation on this song, there are far too many things that don’t work.  I dislike all of the backing vocals and I think that the vocals, in general, were overwhelming.  I have to wonder if this song wasn’t an intentional attempt to seek out a different audience.  After all, when this song was released as a single, the band went to a lot of “Latin” radio stations to try and convince them to air the single.  I think the overall problem is that this song doesn’t feel like natural Duran to me.  It feels force and contrived (no pun intended).

Cocktail Rating:  2 cocktails!

781f2-twoglasses

Daily Duranie Review – So Misled

This week, we return to the Notorious album to review “So Misled”.  Even though, this song was just an album track, do we think it is a quality song?  What are the positives?  What are the parts that we thought needed to be changed?  Read on to find out!

 Rhonda’s Review of So Misled

Musicality/Instrumentation:

So Misled begins with a fantastic drum breakdown and then bass enters, creating a great funk. It’s unusual for a Duran song to begin that way, so it interests me immediately. I love the way they’ve got the bass up a little louder in the mix this time, because with the brightness of the horn section, the bass and drums add the right balance. The guitar, while still very present, is not overpowering and again, does not act as a true lead guitar.  What I don’t hear much of, which in some ways is almost refreshing, are synthesizers. I know they are there, because there are parts the very beginning where they act as melody, and they do present themselves for a quick instrumental ad lib section just about 2/3 of the way through the song, but for the most part they are way underneath the other instruments, coming out just to highlight.

Vocals:

There are two distinct sets of vocals on this song: Simon’s and those of the backup singers. Simon’s voice is bright and unchallenged, and it blends well with the melody of the song, as well as with the backup singers, which feel a smidgeon overpowering to me.  Many times throughout the song I feel as though Simon struggles to be heard over the top. The back up vocals do bring a sort of jazz or R&B element to the song that would likely be missing otherwise, but they just feel a little overpowering at times. I’m not a huge fan of the ad-lib vocals at the end where Simon just hands it to them to finish out, either.

Lyrics:

Here’s my main problem with this song: there is literally one full stanza of verse, a chorus, about a half-stanza worth of another verse, and then the chorus along with some ad-libbing jazz vocals at the end. The song feels half-finished and tends to highlight instrumentals and back up vocals, which isn’t a bad thing  on it’s own merit, but that doesn’t stop the song from feeling as though it was never quite finished with whatever message it is trying to send.  As for the actual lyrics themselves, I think it’s pretty clear that the song is about being mistaken over someone’s intentions, but it’s definitely not a very deep or insightful message.  Oddly, other descriptions I’ve seen for the lyric on this song say that it’s about a conversation that a glamorous woman is having with her (dark) alter ego.  Personally I don’t think there’s enough lyric here to even draw that from the words, but if that was Simon’s intention, then there you have it. That said, I can’t knock the song for not being deep – after all, this isn’t meant to be Shakespeare, on the same token, compared to other pieces of lyric from this band, I can’t help but feel this song lacks a bit of substance.

Overall:

I struggle with So Misled. On one hand, I do like the instrumentation. I love the slight jazzy/R&B/fusion feel, and I think the bass line is fantastic. It’s hard to say “No” to any of that. On the other hand, I’m just not a big fan of the loud backup vocals and I don’t think this is Simon’s finest hour when it comes to lyrics either. It isn’t a song that I necessarily skip, but it also isn’t a song I ever seek out to really listen either. So Misled tends to fade into the background.

Cocktail Rating:

3 cocktails! 3 cocktails

 

Amanda’s Review:

Musicality/Instrumentation:

There is lots of instrumentation right away with this songs, especially before the vocals kick in.  Drums certainly call attention to themselves as does the bass.  Keyboards, as always, are present but less noticeable than they often are and the horns have returned for this one.  The guitar feels very buried or pushed to the back.  That said, the instrumentation catches your attention right away, that’s for sure, but I have to wonder if it is almost too much.  The activity of the instrumentation isn’t like Seven and the Ragged Tiger which has just lots of layers and additions added to the song.  No, in this case, there is just a lot going on musically, at all times.  In general, the musicality of this song almost overwhelms even the vocals.

Vocals:

Like the instrumentation, I feel like there is just too much going on.  At times, Simon is on his own with the vocals but there are a lot of times when those backing vocals are present.  I don’t mind backing vocals if they enhance the song or the performance but here the purpose seems to be to get attention.  Maybe, that attention is needed as the instrumentation of the song somewhat shadows the vocals.  It reminds me of my classroom when the kids are working in groups.  One group gets loud and the other groups have to either get louder or do something to make music in order to get attention.  In the case of the song, more does not always mean better.  Frankly, even when it is Simon on his own, I don’t think it is his strongest performance.  Perhaps, that is because of the emphasis on repetition or staying at an elevated key.  Then, I don’t really need the part with “do do do” and “la la la”.  The vocals just don’t work for me.

Lyrics:

I have to admit that I have no real idea about what this song is about.  The only thing that comes to mind is advertising.  Is the purpose of advertising to mislead people into thinking that they must have a product?  Of course, there are a couple of lines directly related to advertising:  “Saw an advert in a magazine safe it said.  With the satisfaction guaranteed to cool your head”  Is it about something that seems like an easy cure to something but isn’t, really.  No matter the meaning, these lyrics don’t meet my basic standards for great lyrics.  Those standards are that the lyrics are either great poetry or move me to think or to feel.  These lyrics don’t really make me feel anything and the thinking stops at trying to figure out what they are about.  They definitely aren’t the best poetry Simon has ever written.  Thus, the lyrics are disappointing.

Overall:

As I listen to this song, I have to wonder if the main issue isn’t either the production or the mix.  It feels like so much of the song is overwhelming. There is so much instrumentation, so much going on with the vocals.  It is like each element of the song is fighting for dominance but not in a way that makes me want to listen over and over again.  This isn’t about allowing each part to breathe or have space or take turns.  It is like they are all fighting to be heard.  That said, the song doesn’t bother me, either.  I just wish that it was different—less in your face and maybe then the elements could shine.

Cocktail Rating:

2.5 cocktails!

Two and half cocktails