Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Listen to your Father

It was a song sung by Feargal Sharkey in 1985, written by Carl Smyth and produced on a label called 'Zarjazz.' I'm going to review the song, and mostly, the music video, in this post.

Now, knowing me, you'd know there was some sort of connection to Madness in all of this, yeah? You'd be perfectly right; Carl Smyth was better known as 'Chas Smash' and was the backing singer/trumpeter of the band, he wrote that aforementioned song I'm talking about, and Zarjazz was created and managed by Madness themselves.

However Feargal Sharkey, of the Undertones, sung it. Madness only wrote it and played all the instruments.

It's your normal song about the lead singer spotting a girl he falls for, and by judging her, makes the assumption that she "never listens to her father." Musically it's interesting and sounds very 80s with the trumpets and keyboards. It's not bad. Feargal's voice sounds really good, much better than if Chas or Suggs sang it. And it wouldn't sound their style if either of those two sung it anyway; with Sharkey it works because it's different.

The music video is very interesting, particularly due to the way I can relate to it due to the events of yesterday.

It's a very long introduction - the members of what I think are the Undertones (not Madness, just Feargal Sharkey and two other guys) walk into a pub/lounge full of pool tables. They walk up to an ordering counter and Sharkey spots a girl with her back to him. She looks around and he seems stricken with the emotion in the song upon seeing her face. Eventually one of the guys sits with an older man at a table, the other one starts playing pool, and Feargal Sharkey (finally) goes to a jukebox and selects the song. The music finally begins.

The rest of the video showcases the three men playing pool, eating and doing double-takes at the girl, who serves the guy at the table with the older man. They all seem entranced by her, especially Sharkey. There's also a scene in which an older woman comes along and drags the older man away from the table for whatever reason, the three guys looking on in encouragement. Two young cooks joyfully have fun cooking and washing dishes in the song's bridge and instrument parts, and it culminates in the three guys hanging around with Sharkey lip-synching the "I believe in love at first sight" bit. It ends with the owner throwing them out after being fed up with their prolonged presence and goofing around.

For me I like the song mostly for the 'I bet you never listen to your father' shout outs at the end and during some of the verses. It's a pretty good tune, if only the video didn't have such a prolonged introduction. I should note also that some of the bits of conversation and talk in the video can also be heard while the song plays.

For the rating, I'll be doing both the song and the video:

Song: B+
Video: B

It's not bad. And even I can sort of relate to it in a way.

Justin C.

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