Simple songs

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laoghaire

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Simple songs
« on: January 20, 2021, 02:19:06 PM »
Sometimes we critique a song for having an uninspired standard chord progression, simplistic music, nothing original.

But sometimes it still resonates - somehow.

Strange Currencies by REM: the simplest arpeggios. The most standard structure. Predictable bridge. I could probably play every instrument part personally.

Still a good listen.

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an tha

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2021, 02:20:05 PM »
Simple can still be great.

No question.


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laoghaire

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2021, 03:42:36 PM »
So what elevates a simple song from "predictable, unoriginal" to something worthwhile?

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an tha

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 06:49:40 PM »
So what elevates a simple song from "predictable, unoriginal" to something worthwhile?

I think simple is very different to predictable, or dull, or unoriginal.

Just because there aren't sonic fireworks going off it does not mean it can't be great and just because there is does not mean it is great.

Here are two very simple songs i think are great for example.



Really simple stuff, yet both manage for me to tell a simple story well and actually benefit from the simple structure, instrumentation and the songs actually shine through for the fact they aren't over complicated, over produced or haven't got things tacked onto them that are meant to add to the song but actually just take away.

The songs can breathe and the songs simple but effective melodies carry them.

The first one even manages to take what could easily come off as really 'bad' lyrics using some ropey rhyming couplets, but for me they actually work because of the overall feel of the song and how they are delivered.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2021, 06:52:30 PM by an tha »

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imaginary friend

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2021, 07:02:43 PM »
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

pick a station anywhere   http://radio.garden/listen/magic-fm/82GNMn3f

add some fun to your life while learning about music:   https://codepen.io/jakealbaugh/full/qNrZyw

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WookieeWarrior

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2021, 03:24:05 AM »
Energy alone can carry a song. Musicianship brings an advantage to songwriting, but look at the movements in music history which have defied it. Punk rock is the obvious one. Synth-pop did that in the '80s. In this century, an artist needn't be able to play an instrument to compose music.

The band that's brought us here is evidence enough of this truth. I Will Follow isn't my favorite from U2, but despite a poor vocal and an exceedingly simple instrumental, there's a youthful charm lending the song some distinguishing quality, and so I like it. Certain studio touches emphasize this charm—the loading tape deck at the start of the song, the glockenspiel—but there would be nothing to shape if not for the band's energy.

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riffraff

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2021, 06:39:25 AM »
Joni Mitchell is the queen of simple songwriting/singing.
Have another grape

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laoghaire

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2021, 04:21:30 PM »
Energy alone can carry a song.

I think this is it, or really close to it. Maybe it's just a spark of magic somehow. Maybe the song is energetic or the singer's voice is just really soothing or the rhythm just works even if it's all very simple.

Edit: I listened to all the posted songs, thanks.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 04:24:41 PM by laoghaire »

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laoghaire

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2021, 04:23:53 PM »

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Achtung Baby

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2021, 05:31:09 PM »
I can listen to a variety of songs by a variety of bands for a variety of reasons.  The simplicity or complexity of its structure is just one element of a song.  Sometimes I'll favour lyrics or sonics when the two don't fully align.  Strange Currencies by R.E.M is a great shout for a song that is simple yet effective.  It has long been one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite bands.
We Get To Carry Each Other

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Soloyan

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2021, 12:53:13 AM »
Two chords. Doesn’t get much simpler. And still...

The Waterboys, This is The Sea

https://youtu.be/VAiOjxkCS0g
A dangerous idea that almost makes sense...

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riffraff

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2021, 08:03:11 AM »
Have another grape

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an tha

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Re: Simple songs
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2021, 08:41:46 AM »
"The Desperate Kingdom of Love"

Extremely simple....but the simplicity actually for me strengthens the message....and it is utterly beautiful.

This is live, but the album version is absolutely identical in arrangement - just voice and acoustic guitar.