23 September 2007
Nicole C. Mullen's Always Love You is well outside my normal preferences of music genre. First, it's what I would call "girly" - the kind of song that my female relatives would pick at a karaoke while the male relatives sit out. Second, it's somewhere in the "black" range - the kind of music that black people typically sing and enjoy, to which I've never paid enough attention to tell the difference between the various genres (rhythm and blues? reggae?). And third, the singer's style is in the direction of one that I really don't like - where it has an "ah-ah" sound breaking up the middle of the melody line rather than a straight-through "aaaaahhh" and breaks only at breaths.
It also turns out to be "gospel" - and the theme song for the Christian movie End of the Spear. Christian music is about as far outside my musical interests as one can get. This particular song, however, is about love rather than God, so I kept listening.
What caught my attention was the lyrics. They're unusual for having a three-line rhyme scheme, and the singer does a wonderful job of matching emotion to lyrics to melody. The song as a whole is very well constructed, and I have it as one of my current top ten favorites.
Meanwhile, Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars has everything I could ever want in a song, musically speaking. The slow, melancholic start, the gradual introduction of different instruments adding their parts to the greater whole, the strings that come in last, the way it all builds and falls and comes back in again, even the sound of the singer's voice.
But good lord, the lyrics make me want to stab myself in the head repeatedly with a fork. Each stanza sounds like it's going to say something profound ... and then it doesn't. Nothing goes anywhere. It's an insipid mess. It doesn't even slightly rhyme, and the choice of words is like fingernails on chalkboard. This is one song I would enjoy a whole lot more if it were in a language I don't understand. Someone needs to write better lyrics to fit to this song. :p