Here’s the thing. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m such a sucker for good catchy tunes. Well, I guess everyone is kind of a sucker for good catchy tunes. But I recently remembered a conversation I had with a friend about the roots of our musical loves. I talked about being ten years old and obsessing over Freddie Mercury, inconsolably disappointed when I learned that he died the same year as my birth. But what really made a difference was the dent in my musical taste that Queen had made. I was not only into a very intricate and multi-layered type of glam rock, but I was into its pop-ness. Not like, pop music the genre, but the way that it popped. Perhaps bounce is a better word. I love music that bounces, be it physical, mental, emotional. Something that makes you think but also has you moving.
It probably comes as no surprise to you guys that I’m obsessed with this remix. It’s got the claps, the bouncing piano, the provocative beat that matches the pace of your strut…I digress. But Jamiroquai’s voice bounces just as much as the rest of the song, and there’s a certain Stevie Wonder-ness to this remix. Here’s a fun thing — try listening to this song on several different modes. Speakers, big headphones, small headphones. I love doing this. You pick up something new every time, as you should, but you also realize that not all music is made to be listened one way. What if the people making the music, created it so that we could only hear certain things on certain types of listening devices? I guess that does happen. Mini rant.
Allow this song to give you a new mini bounce in your step.
Here’s one of those musical adventures that warrants a second, third and fourth listen. And yet, it feels like it could be in a movie about cars and night driving (hah). But in all seriousness, the inherent eighties-ness of this track makes it both charming and nostalgic without the age to back it up. It’s today. But it also takes you away and holds your hand while you travel down a road that I can only imagine is similar to that rainbow intergalactic space road on Mario Kart where you can’t fall off the edge otherwise you fall into space. That kind of adventure.
There’s no lyrics here, which I love, because every once in a while you need a soundtrack to your thoughts. Right now my thoughts are pretty focused on just being. The last time I actively found a song to soundtrack my thoughts, it was a Fleetwood Mac track off Rumours. That remains one of my favorite albums of all time, for the very reason that I’ve stated above. At certain times in my life, I’ve just required the words and music to align perfectly with what was going on inside my own head. There is something magical about a song like The Chain, which is the perfect combination of highs and lows, especially with the twang of the guitar in the background. Such a harmonious joining of musical forces.
Similarly, this song begins with punch and falters between lows and highs throughout. There’s always going to be that driving synth power to remain consistent throughout, but the keyboard that plays what might collectively be six to eight chords over the course of the entire piece, reminds me of a movie. Like you’re getting a glimpse of the hero while looking in the rear view mirror of the villain’s car. He’s always just one step ahead of the hero. There’s a pause in the middle where laughter and applause snakes in, and then we’re dropped right back into the middle of what might be a slow chase scene. It’s a really fun track to be imaginative with, because it feels pretty predictable in terms of where it will go, but it’s not. The instruments are always changing up and the inherent similarity to Flash by Queen happens every once in a while.
As I am someone whose musical tastes are strongly aligned within the field of electronic music and all of its subgenres, I will always loyally be grounded in the genre of classic rock. It’s not a bad place to stay leveled in, especially since so much of what we hear today is inspired by that older sound.
I invite you to indulge in a music fantasy with this track, let it take you somewhere deep into your mind. Just remember, you’re the one who is in control, this song is only your partner.
There is refined taste and then there is universal taste when it comes to music in my book. I like to think that mine is a combination of the two, and that most of the people who surround me on a day to day basis are the same way. It’s really exciting to encounter someone who has a fundamental similarity with you in that their taste of music aligns with your own. It’s easy to forget who is similar to you, and who isn’t. There are people in life that are reasons for your love of a certain genre — for me, my father is the reason for my fundamental love of rock n’ roll, and he will always be. Which means that it should be easy for me to always remember that my father and I will always be connected in that musical sense. Of course, as humans, we tend to forget. And it’s always a really cute reminder to catch another person, whether it’s a parent, loved one, or best friend, in a moment of surprise for both you and them. This was the case today when I was in the car with a dear friend. I decided to show off some of the new music I was listening to as of late.
This was one of the songs that came on, and while we were talking about things non-music related, I saw something in his eyes that I know happens to me, too, when I hear a song that I immediately enjoy. It’s the same way you look at someone you care about when they’re talking to you and you’re being silent, with a smile in your eye but not necessarily on your mouth. “I like this,” was all he said. And never mind the fact that we had both grown up together with a mutual love for such different music, like Queen, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, & Yes. The formula, beginning with those undoubtable classics, meant that we’d be connected forever no matter how different our music tastes became.
I was really happy in this moment because not only did I have the same reaction to this song as my friend when I first encountered it, but I was proud of how modern his taste had become. We’re always going to be rooted in our classics, no doubt, but to be open to sounds that make us feel good, is the true musicianship of a quality listener.
The ride continued on to unearth the sounds of Busta Rhymes, How To Dress Well, Outkast, & Nicolas Jaar, which both of us enjoyed happily.
Pre-Thanksgiving jams are the best, with anticipation of food and love on the horizon, allow the time that you set aside to listen to this song to be a shared moment with someone you care about. You’ll thank me later.