Angels in Stereo

I am often struck by the miraculous timing of music in my car. Radio, cd, shuffle, they all seem to play exactly the right song when I need to hear it. I call this musical synchronicity.

Earlier this week I heard an old favorite of mine on the radio: “Babylon” by David Gray. I enjoy this mellow subtleness of this song, the acoustic guitar against a tick tock. The lyrics have always struck me as being about a change of perspective. Friday night the lights are changing green to red, Saturday the lights are turning red to green. Where you are is where you are going. Are you with me? “Let go your heart,/ Let go your head…” So I took this as a sign from the universe that I needed a change in perspective.

My family has been enjoying Sheppard’s song “Geronimo” since the inspiring Noah Galloway danced to it on Dancing with the Stars. I downloaded it and added it to my daughter’s birthday playlist. This is a fabulous upbeat song: the rhythm of the strumming guitar and the pulse of the taiko drums are infectious. I love the positivity of the lyrics. I became obsessed with this song. The “curtain of the waterfall” is perhaps the most poetic line I’ve heard in modern lyrics, and so effectively used here, as we sing about breaking through the threshold of perspective. The rhythm of the chorus is very catchy and singable, with just a bit of syncopation to keep you on your toes. The “Can you feel…” line is subtle and smooth, then the “Bombs Away!” is just at the top of my alto range but impossible to sing subtly, you simply must channel your inner Kelly Clarkson and belt it out. To sing the lyric otherwise would just be silly. And the choir of voices sings the brief but punctual “Make this Leap!” Why wouldn’t you, after listening to this song?

The parts mentioned above are layered and remixed in counterpoint near the end in a mosaic symphony. Reminds me of the polyphony we have heard in Sugar Ray, and in Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping” (yes it was brilliant- listen for Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary in the background at the end). This music mama loves all things polyphony and counterpoint. And, of course, breakthroughs.

What song has just reached out to you? What did it mean for you?

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