Monday, November 5, 2012

"Would You" - Poema (Song)

The cover of their recent album.
I recommend reading this review before seeking out the song.  You can listen to it on Spotify or similar programs, or check out the YouTube posting here.  Today's great work is "great" in a different way than the others I've posted so far.  It's basically your standard sort-of country/sort-of pop relationship song.  You might be asking yourself, "Why is this great again?" and I think a pretty solid case could be made that it isn't.  But I'm going to go ahead and say that I think it is.

Most of us, in addition to whatever else we may be, are "art-seekers", meaning we are open to new art in our lives.  Now, how open we are is a matter of degree, but for the most part people want more art that they will enjoy.  Sometimes, however, I feel that a lot of us (myself included) are less open-minded than is beneficial for us as art-seekers.  We think that if a song is a certain genre (some examples I've heard are rap, country, ska, and heavy metal, but really it could be anything) then we will not like it.  We are essentially pre-judging the piece based on how it is labeled.  This is not as assumptive as judging a person by their name, I would say it's more akin to judging them by how they are dressed.  I think (within reason) we should not just assume that an art piece will be good or bad based on genre or other label.  We not only miss out on art that we might really enjoy, but also on dynamics and points-of-view we otherwise wouldn't experience.  I really feel like there's something different to take from this than the kind of music I've been listening to for the last ten years, which has mostly been harder 90's rock.  I'm not saying this is better by any means, but that it's good to expand artistic horizons.

That said, I present to you this song by Poema, a sister duo of singer-songwriters who even play their own instruments!  I love the song "Would You" off of their new album.  I think it is sweet and interesting and honest.  Yes, it has some flaws, not the least of which being the garish grass-is-greener cliche in the first verse.  (My advice?  Pretend it isn't there.)

The song is not so complex that it needs an in-depth exploration by me, but not everything needs to be complex in order to be effective.  I do think the young woman presented in the song sounds a little more self-aware than in a lot of other pop songs like this I've heard, and the chorus is pretty catchy.  Lyrics-wise, the one part that I would like to draw your attention to is the refrain, "If you knew what to do, would you?"  This reminds me of some of the emo/pop-punk stuff I got into in high school.  Some of the earlier Brand New and Bright Eyes songs that try to layer sadness; they takes something bad and then putting something else bad on top of it.  I might be dumbing down what I'm trying to say too much here, but maybe you know what I'm talking about.  I've always thought that was an interesting lyrical effect.  Not only does the kid she's singing to not know the "right" way to behave in a relationship, she isn't even sure he would want to.  You get the feeling she could almost take his shortcomings--which admittedly seem a little innocuous for the tone of the song--if he can't help but be that way.

Live in Kansas City

Here are the lyrics, which I transcribed myself after a fruitless internet search:     

I've been looking for a confirmation.
I've been searching for a way to leave this time.
Cause I hear the grass is greener on the other side.
I've been looking for a consolation.
To give me some direction, showing me a sign.
But lately, leaving has been on my mind.
I like the way you see me, and make my bad days easy.
No one likes your singing.  But I do.

I want dinner made for two and you to make a move, but you never do.
Hold my hand in front of your friends.  
It's not a lot to ask and I shouldn't have to.
Oh darling, if you knew what to do, would you?

You've been down on love, talking about your situation.
You've been out of touch and almost out of time.
Cause I doubt we are gonna make the finish line.
I like the way you don't do things the way they most do,
except for when I need you, and you don't come through.

I want dinner made for two and you to make a move, but you never do.
Hold my hand in front of your friends.  
It's not a lot to ask and I shouldn't have to.
Oh darling, if you knew what to do, would you?

You may or may not like the song, but please judge it on its own merit and not by what genre it is.

-MA 11.5.2012

P.S.  I really like the line about holding hands, couldn't really tell you why!

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