March 14, 2014

There are some Goodboys out there (and you know who you are!) who think The Great White Shank listens to nothing but washed out, burned out surfers and classic retro Cuban music.

He/they may be right.

But I’m telling you right now that this tune by Charlotte Church – one of my all-time favorite female vocalists – ranks up there with any tune I would like to hear before they plant my ashes under the old sod or stuff them in an urn on the mantlepiece next to pictures of old Uncle Harry and Aunt Mabel. The tune, released back in 2010, was what is called in the music industry a “buzz tune” (one designed to generate interest) left off of Charlotte’s Back To Scratch release, but as far as I’m concerned it was better than anything she put on that CD.

Why do I love this song so? Because it shows an artist willing to smash through the expectations of what their music ought to sound like. Much like The Beach Boys did back in 1977 on their Love You album and songs like God Please Let Us Go On This Way and Rolling Skating Child, Church uses this tune to show off her not-unsubstantial vocal chops behind an arrangement most fans would have been turned off of because it feels not just a little post-punk.

So let’s take a look at that arrangement, shall we? The song starts out with a sparse arrangement featuring guitar, bass, and snare behind a metallic-sounding rhythm being tapped out on a high-hat. Against this, Church’s lead vocal is powerful, yet restrained – I mean, when you can sing like she can I give her all the credit in the world to just let the song be what it is. A second guitar enters in the chorus (listen for the cool sliding chords) and will remain throughout the rest of the song. On the second verse we hear that second guitar taking a little more prominent role on the downbeat (C’mon, you can hear it, just try!). Then there’s the so-called “middle eight” where Church sings wordless vocals behind a grunge band rapping out its metallic backing all drenched in echo – Phil Spector would have been proud. A repeat of the chorus draws the song to a close, but not before Church provides a little hint of her powerhouse chops she’s capable of on the last “for you”.

It’s a great tune. I call it power punk from an artist not afraid to break out of the mold others have laid out for her.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 16:58 | Comments (0)
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