Friday, August 3, 2012

Song #226 of 9999 - The Blitz 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 #11.


Song #226 of 9999 

Title: The Blitz
Artist: Frankie Big Face
Year: 2008
Album: Nur Ein 3

Click here to listen!
A part of me just knew it / From the time I said "I love you" we were sunk
I remember there used to be a recurring piece in Entertainment Weekly (I think) featuring intriguing first lines from new books. My song The Blitz has that type of line, one that just propels the narrative forward. As it turns out, despite the downer of a first line, it's a pretty hopeful song with a positive message about not giving up on a relationship even when it seems like the other person has checked out completely. Even though we don't know whether or not the protagonist's "blitz" in this song is successful, we do know he countered feelings of hopelessness by ratcheting up his love for his partner and that seems like a strategy you can live with it even it fails.

This is probably my favorite composition from 2008, which makes all the problems with the recording and performance even more painful to revisit. The piano riff that opens the tune has that cool expansive sound you get from an augmented fourth (Lydian mode, y'all!) and the tempo is right for marching and therefore characteristic of the concept. The challenge of this tune was composing all the marching band bits and making them work with the choir bits later on. I spent SO much time on this that I rushed through the vocals and ended up with flat and sometimes strained notes that undermine the song. (I think I was sick at the time which didn't help.) And even with all the work on the synthy stuff, it still sounds like a demo at best—real marching instruments and a real choir would work so much better.

I almost never re-record songs but The Blitz is one I'd really like to do over. I think the song has a McCartney-esque charm to it and I still like the chorus a lot and the sentiment even more. Perhaps one day...

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