Saturday, February 03, 2007

What makes a good song?

'Tis the season once again. American Idol, that delicious trainwreck of others' ambitions, is back on the air. It seems to keep growing--the few holdouts at work who weren't watching last season have tuned in this season just to see what the rest of us keep yammering about.

Now, I would never try out for Idol. I KNOW I'm tone deaf. But Nelly Furtado has convinced me that I should become a record producer.

Usually, since I am tone deaf, I respond to lyrics. My dear husband is always amazed at how quickly I can memorize all the words to a song. "Well, when you don't have to devote any brain power to the notes..." Anyway, occasionally I respond to a song for some other reason, and when I do it's usually the beat (I was a percussionist in junior high, after all).

That seems to be the case with Furtado's latest single, "Say It Right." I couldn't tell you the lyrics to the song, because they are absolutely forgettable. But the underlying beat is just incredible. It is begging to be sampled and turned into a REAL song. I went out and spent $15 for the CD just to hear this beat. I am driving Stanley insane because I'm in that place where I play the song OVER and OVER and OVER and... you get the idea.

I want to do something with this song. I want to record a YouTube clip with that beat. I want to go out and find a 19-year-old with a good voice (which after five seasons of Idol, I think I could identify) to record new lyrics over the beat. It's an odd compulsion.


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