Thursday, December 5, 2013

Random Thought Thursday: What makes a good song?

The blog has been busy with this whole BIG RED Recognition stuff lately, so I wanted to take a step back and think about something that often plagues my mind, and thats 'what makes a good song?'

I'd like to consider myself a decent songwriter. I am not the most prolific writer in the world, but I tend to draw from what inspires me, things that are personal to me, or things that I have experienced in my life. I'd like to think that makes at least a respectable songwriter. Aside, I also think that ever so often I come up with a song that has a nice groove, a good hook, or chorus that people tend to remember. So all in all, I guess in my own eyes I am an "ok" songwriter. But what does that really mean? I was listening to a podcast featuring a good friend speaking about one of his song's and I was blown away by the amount of thought, reference, theme, and so on that he puts into his songs. It absolutely blew me away...I guess I'll use that as the "gold standard" which I have not yet reached.

I can agree that having a catchy hook, or a singable chorus can make for a pleasant listen, but does that make it a good song. I don't know, I suppose I just constantly struggle with that balance between, "wow this is a great song because the writer is obviously very attached to the emotions that are flowing forth from it and their performance shows that" and "you know what, I can listen to this because it sounds good and I don't have to think much when listening". I guess, the good song quandary can be situational? I still find myself feeling a little shameful saying that though...just because maybe I didn't completely hate myself for listening to a Maroon 5 song one time, does that make them creatively rich songwriters? I am compelled to say "not quite" in this instance.

I could go on and on about this one, but I guess it comes down to personal preference, your relation to music and the songwriting craft that really makes that decision for you. What do you guys think? I'm going to go listen to some Katy Perry and see if I want to jump off the roof of my office building...see you soon.

1 comment:

  1. Tom Waits once said that a good song needs three things. Weather, The name of a street, and something to eat... in case you get hungry.

    Most songs that I consider to be good have imagery that is strong to me and references that are clever, but not too clever to be caught.

    For some reason I always like songs written from the point of view of little kids. They think differently, and are always my favorite characters.

    When John Brown drops his medals into his mothers hand... that's makes a good song.

    When I'm gonna take this extra rib I got and I'm gonna bury it, but she does not rise .... that make's a good song.

    When the shapes in the bed are the senator and the CEO and you don't know which one is on top.... that's a good song.