Four songs with epic finales

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Out 4 2005, 18h00

Happiness/The Gondola Man - This song begins like many Elliott Smith songs, a simple guitar figure and naturally simple Melody. Like most songs from Figure 8, it's wrapped in lush production and instrumentation. The transforms into something more significant after the two minute mark, however, when the music suddenly becomes sparse enough to reveal the deceptively easy guitar line that constitutes the song's foundation. Elliott begins harmonizing with a choir of his own voices, repeating "All I want now is happiness for you and me" while the organ, piano and strings swell, and then receed. Finally, with only the organ left, the instrumentation abruptly ends with a distorted cough, as if the tape ran out early. All that is left is Elliott, strumming his guitar and repeating that mantra. A beautiful song by an artist who ended a few things too soon.

Life Goes Off - This song also starts off with a simple guitar shape and relaxed vocal melody. O'Rourke sings a series of non sequiturs about pants while a slide guitar and piano hint at the rootsy influences that colour a lot of O'Rourke's oddly dischordant acoustic songs. A tiny electronic drum sound clicks like a metronome under the melody, joined occasionaly by wood blocks and quiet drum machines. Almost imperceptively, just past the half-way mark, the incidental hand clamps and rhythmic details detach from the melody and begin to shift from their original places. In a trick similar to Johnny Greenwood's contributions to the Bodysong soundtrack, the unanchored percussive sounds begin to coalesce into their own countermelody; a churning industrial onslought of static and distressed drums. It's an effect similar to the noisy crescendos that O'Rourke brought to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but while those songs climaxed into explosions of chaotic sound, this song slips into its sonic mess slowly and deliberately. It takes several listens to pinpoint when the transformation occurs.

Chinese Apple - Loose Fur is that 'other' collaboration between Jeff Tweedy and Jim O'Rourke. The one that inherits none of Wilco's allegiance to American country music. Still, it's hard not to detect the ghosts of one hundred years worth of influences leaning over Tweedy as he picks out a melody and borrows a line from Heavy Metal Drummer. Glen Kotche adds some circular, cascading drum patterns, and a piano introduces the strongest melody of the song with less than two minutes of time remaining. The song, like the album, feels unrestrained; it probaby could end comfortably well before the 7:35 mark. Somehow, though, it feels perfectly natural just as it is.

Different Names for the Same Thing - Death Cab for Cutie put out a very pretty major label record earlier this year, but one song overshadows the entire disc. No other song manages to balance the band's trademark wistfulness and dense rhythmic tendencies as well as this song. After a two minute preamble of piano and hallow vocals, the song begins for a second time with a confident introduction of each instrument. Ben Gibbard intones the name of the song over and over, while the bass creates a stepped foundation for the eventual crash of an electric guitar. By the end, each instrument has carved out its own space within the thunder. A xylophone and piano work together to create a baroque texture, synthesizers battle for attention. By the time the song ends, its presence looms over the second half of the album.

Comentários

  • m_o_o

    [quote] Elliott Smith - Happiness/The Gondola Man - This song begins like many Elliott Smith songs, a simple guitar figure and naturally simple Melody. Like most songs from Elliott Smith - Figure 8, it's wrapped in lush production and instrumentation. The transforms into something more significant after the two minute mark, however, when the music suddenly becomes sparse enough to reveal the deceptively easy guitar line that constitutes the song's foundation. Elliott begins harmonizing with a choir of his own voices, repeating All I want now is happiness for you and me while the organ, piano and strings swell, and then receed. Finally, with only the organ left, the instrumentation abruptly ends with a distorted cough, as if the tape ran out early. All that is left is Elliott, strumming his guitar and repeating that mantra. A beautiful song by an artist who ended a few things too soon. [/quote] That's a very fitting description of this song! I love the whole album.

    Out 9 2005, 21h00
  • LylaInPurple

    i don't know...if i had to pick a death cab song with an epic ending, i'd be more inclined to go for transatlanticism. it's perfectly led into by tiny vessels, and feeds seamlessly into passenger seat. i'd say that it outshines different names for the same thing unquestionably. that's just me.

    Out 14 2005, 23h19
  • Slaky311

    I would add that Marching Bands of Manhattan. That has proven to be one of the many amazing songs on Plans. But I think in particular, the build up and finale on MBOM is gorgeous. Could listen to it again and again.

    Out 20 2005, 18h44
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