Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Song #220 of 9999 - No One Else by Frankie Big Face

As mentioned in my post of July 20, I'm going to write about my own music for a few weeks as a way to get some song comments together for an updated website. My goal is eventually to have a few paragraphs written for every song on my website and I figured I'd start with all the Nur Ein songs I've written over the past six years. Nur Ein is a songwriting competition in the same vein as Song Fight!, wherein a title is presented each week and participants must write and record a song using that title. The songs are posted and listeners vote for their favorites. In the case of Nur Ein, there is a judging panel that ranks the songs and participants are eliminated each week until "only one" (nur ein) remains. There are also additional challenges that must be incorporated such as "lyrics in the form of a sonnet" or "guest rapper." Nur Ein has been around for seven years and I've entered four times and won twice. NBD. :D  This is post #4.


Song #220 of 9999 

Title: No One Else
Artist: Frankie Big Face
Year: 2007
Album: Nur Ein 2

Click here to play song! 

It seems to me that, if you enter a weekly songwriting competition, you're going to get stumped at some point. Especially if you work alone. For me, week five of Nur Ein 2 was the first of those trials. I had earned a week of "immunity" by winning round three and didn't write a song for round four. When the title came, I was in the midst of wrapping up the school year and preparing for a trip to Spain. I struggled to come up with what I thought was an acceptable approach to the title, rejecting at least four ideas before settling on the song I recorded. In the end, I had just a few hours to write, learn and record the song.

Luckily, the challenge that week was "no guitars" so it seemed like an appropriate time to limit the arrangement to just piano and vocals. Anytime I take this approach (regardless of whether the accompanying instrument is piano or guitar), I want to make sure the lyrics and melody are strong enough to stand on their own. Even though they were written quickly, I felt the lyrics about someone (not me!) deliberately sabotaging a relationship and then regretting his actions told a good story and the melody (of the chorus, especially) was reflective of the lyrics and sufficiently melancholic.

Regardless, I thought then and think now the song would be better with a band. As was pointed out by at least one reviewer, it sounds like a demo. There's a rhythm lilt to the song (especially dramatic during the build-up in the bridge) that would benefit from bass and drum kicks. This unfinished quality coupled with some awkward moments in the performance had me feeling like this was a lesser effort. But it was well-received overall and one of the judges later listed it among his favorite Nur Ein songs of all time which served as a good reminder that I rarely know which of my songs will resonate with listeners!

No comments:

Post a Comment