Friday, September 22, 2006

Seven Songs 1: The Beat

Yes, this is a meme, tossed onto my lap by Jac. It requires me to post what, in my opinion, are the seven best songs ever composed and developed.

Obviously, there would be some sort of problem with this little arrangement. For one, I'm hardly the sort of person who is best qualified to judge musical compositions, much less songs that have been released and ingrained into the public consciousness. Another problem lies in the fact that I can hardly find myself in the position to listen to every single song ever performed, and thus I can't assess each one of them accordingly.

With that said, I still have a list in mind. Regardless of my terrible qualifications, there are still some songs that I happen to like far more than others. My choices may not be the seven best songs ever created, but I still hold them in very high esteem.

Of course, it wouldn't be a standard entry for this blog if I didn't post some form of explanation for each of these choices. This, of course, means that I'll be splitting up this meme into seven separate posts, just so that I can present everything in a far more sane arrangement. I plan to reference videos from YouTube for assistance as well, and going through one performance a day should be much easier than having to play seven different songs in one sitting.

Now that I've described the circumstances for this little series of posts, I'll proceed to the first of my seven selections:

Smooth (Carlos Santana, featuring Rob Thomas)
- written by Rob Thomas and Itaal Shur

What's a song, really? From a physical point of view, it's simply a bunch of words written and set to coincide with accompanying music. I suppose that we can get into all sorts of technical description here, perhaps going into refrains and instrumentals and chorals and stuff like that, but physically, a song is simply words and music; It's nothing more.

The fact, however, is that we don't think of a song in such technical terms. When a song first enters our heads, the last thing that we do is try to analyze it. I figure that only the most jaded people, the ones most removed from humanity's efforts to make music, would try to break down a song into its molecular components. The first thing that almost all of us do, I feel, is listen. And the second thing we do, invariably, is react.

I loved "Smooth" from the first time I heard it on the radio, and I still love it now. I feel that it is the epitome of the song that you listen to. The chances are good that, if you catch it for more than a few seconds, the beat will spread right into your soul and send your outer extremities into motion. I have yet to find anyone who hates the song, much less anyone who doesn't start swaying to the rhythm the moment it starts playing.

There are probably a number of better songs out there, I think. Some compositions may have far more enlightening lyrics, while some performances might be far more extravagant and complex. "Smooth" probably pales in comparison to these others, the ones that we feel have mastered their respective genres.

Where "Smooth" excels, however, lies in the fact that it simply gets you listening. It draws you in without your even noticing it. I feel that it is, quite literally, a testament to man's tendency towards music. For a single creation, it speaks very well for itself. And that's why it's the first of the seven songs on my little meme-inspired list.


Sean said...

Slightly revised the above post to include writing credits for the song. I'll be placing these for the other six as well.

Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Love, love, love Smooth, for all the reasons you stated, plus 2 more: very few people on the planet can play the guitar as well as Carlos Santana, and --though this is something you may not be able to appreciate-- Rob Thomas is hot stuff. ;p

Sean said...

Ailee: Santana's real good at what he does, although I was surprised that he never really had a massive hit before this song. And Rob Thomas, well, I only respect him for his incredible skill. :)

Der Fuhrer said...

cool meme. mind if I steal it? hehe

Sean said...

Der Fuhrer: Sure. I usually don't pass on any memes, but you're welcome to post your own choices on this matter. :)

Clair said...

You are right. You can't help but listen to this song. Rob Thomas just sounds soo... hmmm... Hot? Well, whatever. Anyway, I love the guitars on this one :D

Sean said...

Clair: I honestly can't claim to be the first person with that opinion; Someone just pointed it out to me, and I just had to admit that he was right. :)

Santana had a reputation as one of the best guitarists of his time, I think, although I believe that he wasn't as good before as he is now. There must be a certain enlightenment that comes with beating a personal drug habit, I suppose.

The Mikologist said...

smooth is really one hell of a song. i've been a fan of matchbox 20, while my pop dig santana. and combining the two is just plain awesome. thanks for sharing.

Kaber Vasuki said...

For some reason, Smooth will feature on my list of songs I hate.

Sean said...

Kaber: To each his own, I suppose. I'd be interested to read your reasoning here.

Kaber Vasuki said...

I don't know. I've tried it quite a few times but I haen't liked it. All the other songs are good (I haven't had the chance to check out chemistry though). I think I'll make a list of songs I love too. It would be fun :)