Tuesday, December 16, 2008

...but, man, i still think them cats are great!

Sadly, it's an experience we've all had. You're enjoying the giddy buzz of hearing a song you've never heard before - and you like it! Sure, it's just on the first verse but...you really like! Your head is spinning with the possibilities...you'll dance to it at your wedding...you'll sing it to your newborn baby to put them to sleep...it will be the centerpiece of your weepy, tragic and public (so all your fans can attend) funeral...and, then - suddenly - "What fresh hell is this..."
Yes, you've been the victim of another song with kickass verses and a lame chorus.
Probably the definitive song of this vein is "The Boys are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy. You know when you hear the opening "Guess who just got back today?", you immediately sit up straight in your seat and start singing along and drumming on the dashboard (cuz it inevitably happens when you're in a car). Now, I'm not saying the chorus in unbearable - it's not a dealbreaker by any means. It just doesn't have the same vivacious energy as the verses.
Another good example? Led Zeppelin's "All My Love". The verses? Sweetly rollicking, a little exotic, all in all, just good to your earhole.The chorus? Well, even Jimmy Page (who had no hand in writing it) agrees with me: "I was a little worried about the chorus. I could just imagine people doing the wave and all of that."

D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar" continues in this vein. The verses are super-mellow, with some nimble, tripped up wordplay thrown in, keeping in line with the stoner theme. The chorus is just the repetitive crooning of "I want some of your brown sugar". Though, really, if he's too stoned to think of anything else to say, I can respect that.
Prince's "Pink Cashmere" has them baby-making style verses I love, but the chorus does nothing for me...though maybe it's because the idea of a pink cashmere coat makes my gag reflex go into overdrive.
Here's my playlist for such songs...what are some that bless (and haunt) your life?

sweet verses
And what do we call these suckers? There's gotta be some kind of name so we can properly identify them, at the very least to ourselves.
I just call them "lazy". But, hey, ain't nothing wrong with that!


ellie said...

Aw...thanks..not sure everyone might see it that way.

But I'm liking them more together too.

Lov'n your post as well.. Such coolness.

Pacing the Panic Room said...

What an awesome post! I love your blog. The Boys are Back In Town was the most perfect and hilarious example you could have used to kick off the post.

Sister Libby said...

I think "ain't nothin' wrong with that" is kind of your 'thing'. It seems like something you have said a lot. And I agree 100% about All My Love and Poker Face. You are a genius...And we will party together; you in fur, me in leather. I just realzied that rhymed, and is a great sentence.

Anonymous said...

awesome post! you always phrase things so funny. they make me laugh. i love your writing style.

julie said...

hey molly!
great post (as usual...). i had to read the whole thing out loud to my singer-songwriter husband, who has always argued that All My Love is an awful song. (I happen to love it, though.) definitely agree about The Boys are Back in Town. lol. always a great blog to read. just put you in my blog roll!

jess said...

I'd never heard the boys are back in town but I listened to it the chorus is a downer. Lazy is a good name for them or maybe versers

Anonymous said...

i love prince!! hells yea and lady gaga is so fun to dance to

Anonymous said...

I love that verse in The Boys.. that ends with 'If that chick dont want to know, forget her'. I can almost picture them at Johnny's place probably standing round a pool table or something and having a laugh about it.

My brain is a little empty at the mo' and I can't think of any that specifically drive me mental - but I'm sure there are plenty!

Keith said...

Hey Molly. This was a really cool post. That is so true. There are so many songs that are awesome until they get to the chorus. It's like they couldn't waste time with the chorus. They threw up any lame old thing. These are still some really good songs though.

Cate said...

The Boys Are Back In Town... The chorus doesn't really fit the rest of the song.
All My Love has a catchy beat, but I agree the chorus is somewhat meh. The topic of the song, about his five year old son and everything, is touching, but I don't know... It doesn't make the CHORUS any better.
Brown Sugar... I know a reggae song called that... Let's see if it's the same. The one I know is pretty lame. I know AMAZING reggae, but there's also some pretty dumb reggae. The Stones covered a song called 'Brown Sugar' too, I think.
The only song that way that comes to my mind now is maybe 'Make you feel better' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I really love the beginning, the chorus is OK but not mind-blowing.

Mimi said...

This happens a lot when I am driving, I hear a song and I perk up and start 'jamming' out and then the I the chorus comes and it is just lame... But I do agree, great picks as usual! You are the music mix master!


copperoranges said...

d'angelo looked so hot in that one video ... that's all i can think about right now.

lauh-ren said...

hahahahahahahaha i love this. i just found your blog, and i must say--this is quite an amazing post. you just put into words what i have been thinking about my whole life. bravo!

Krystal said...

LOVE them!!

Seraphine said...

thought-provoking. i rarely break songs down to the bridge and chorus levels. mostly i just listen, and if i like it, i turn up the volume.
usually the chorus is the song's hook. but not always.