Sunday, May 8, 2011

I've Got to Find Out

While working at Wal-Mart yesterday evening (no more SFY, I'm properly working now, should write something about that maybe) I heard this old childhood song on their speakers.

Since working there since last Thursday, I've been mildly surprised by the music they pipe in. I've recognized many songs that I like or liked. I've heard a few Duran Duran songs and a few other 80s hits. This 'childhood song' I heard on my way out of the store when my shift was done.

It was a song in which the singer constantly speaks or sings very quickly (similar to a rap) in an almost completely monotone voice, like a robot. Then there's a lead into a chorus, which sounds less monotone and goes slower (but not by much).

Hearing that again made me want to look it up when I got home, so using the best knowledge I had (that it was done by an outfit called 'Savage Garden') I figured it out as "I Want You."

Hearing it properly again brought a lot of expectations that came with the song, like that higher-pitched part or that abrupt, random bit with the drums and spinning sound effects. I could not really understand anything the singer spoke except for what he said at the end of the first verse - which was "cherry cola."

I am unsure if I want to review it or if I just want to talk about it and explain it. Reviewing it means I have to give a well-written critique on what makes the song good and explain it, which means I have to listen to it carefully. I think I'll just do the quicker and easier thing and talk about it. Besides, I have another shift in two and a half hours.

Ever since I heard it when I was young, the song gave me a deep green color, practically just about all the way through except for those odd, abrupt changes in the music.

What's really kind of weird is it also inspired imagery of my friend's mother, probably because the singer sounded kind of like her in voice.

What makes the song dynamic - and kind of funny to me - is the way it goes so monotone in all of the choruses and verses, but suddenly there's this abrupt change. In the third verse, suddenly things go all higher-pitched, including the singer, who sounds like he's shouting. This is brief, then it starts into the third verse. It makes me think of a peaceful cat suddenly shrieking or hissing for a moment before reverting to its peaceful state. The cat being Jazz, my cat who passed away in February (she was around when I was a kid hearing the song back then as well, so that image is probably as old as the song itself).

What I really find funny is near the end, things suddenly go different again - and it's just these bouncing drums and sound effects, with that turntable spinning backwards-forwards sound effect as well. One of those things you've heard before. Why I find it so funny is how contrasting and different and unusual it is for that to appear in the song. So sudden. So...unusual and odd.

My idea is that Savage Garden probably wanted to spice up their same-sounding piece - fast, monotone verses plus slightly different choruses and lead-ins - so they abruptly included these little dynamic intervals of different music or sound effects.

It's almost like someone playing with the sound control board in the studio, and they randomly hit different sequences when they easily get bored of the constant fast-spoken verses. Perhaps a monkey was involved? Or a cat?

It's a pretty good song otherwise - if not kind of funny due to those sudden changes in music/style. Obviously the singer is talking about the feeling he gets when he's around a particular girl - though he is unsure of it but wants to find out. That's where the title of this post comes from - a repeated line in the chorus and the desire of the singer.

What do you think of it? Too fast? Lyrics can be found online. Or you can just listen carefully. He speaks clearly as well and the reason I didn't really get the lyrics that well was because I was too lazy to listen properly. And everyone remembers the cherry cola part, don't they?

By the way, the snare drum sounds like, to me, the drummer used an empty shoe (during the first chorus onwards).

Justin C.

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