Monday, March 8, 2010

Believe Me

One of those song reviews that really makes me think of some aspects of my social life that I've observed. "Believe Me" was a song on the album "One Step Beyond..." and the lyrics dealt with a relationship tainted with "jealous lies" and gossip.

It's a pretty good song that deals with the average social issues one in a relationship always has to deal with. Basically it tells, from the boyfriend's point of view, of how his and his partner's friends engage the girlfriend in jealous gossip and untruths about the boyfriend, leading to the girl to leave him over some apparent girl named Sue. The narrator has never heard of her.

For the music, which applies to me a lot more than the lyrics, it really gives a sense of "trying to make things seem normal and honest and attempting to get the girlfriend to believe him." Interestingly, the guitar, which simply plays the same note and rhythm over and over (then changes keys as needed), makes me think of boyfriends named "Jeff." And ironically, I've known several girls who had boyfriends with that name. It seems to be some sort of common name for annoying boyfriends who seem smart-alecky and are with the girl you like yourself (around me anyway). It's lead me to dislike the name in a way. The guitar reminded me of that starting around the time I was in grade eight and a girl I liked was with someone with that name and it reminded me exactly of them. I guess it still does.

The drums kind of get a little too flourishy with the constant double snare hits during the sax solo (which make it harder for one like me to play them) which gives it a kind of "trying too hard" kind of feel, but that's otherwise the only small downfall. There's even some comedy with the repeated "no no no no no's" that echo in the background when the narrator sings about the ruined relationship:

"Sue's a name I have not heard (no no no no)
I lost my girl from that one word (no no no no)
Will she come back I just don't know and I'm taking a heavy blow
I've got myself together (no no no no)"

...and so on.

The piano is nice, sometimes bittersweet-sounding, and the sax provides a nice touch (as always with their songs). The little piano/bass "mounds" as I see them (where the two instruments ascend and descend musically, visually like a mound or hump) are one of the elements that keep it going well.

Overall, the song in synesthesia is a general greenish color to me. The end, as the bass slides up (Mark running his fretting finger up the neck), it translates in my mind as someone, like the narrator, realizing the futility of his argument and just living with the situation reluctantly.

The fading keyboard alongside it seems to make me think of my cousin Jamie due to his personality in my perception of it.

The reason for the general green color of the song has largely to do, as usual, with the bass. And since the bass sets the tone and governs which keys the other instruments play in, it all comes together and sounds the same, which is how songs work - nothing can be off-key or else there's no musical harmony. So it all comes together and creates that general color. It's not the same for each instrument of course; the guitar is a yellowish thin, curved, undulating line that repeats itself as the guitar does and translates into a boyfriend named Jeff, to my slight amusement and responding thoughts on the matter. The piano is always changing colors.

I won't get into it like crazy, so I'll just rate the song:


That sounds reasonable.

Justin C.

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