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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thirty Days of Music: Part II

Day Two is your least favourite song.

I wouldn't consider myself ardent in my appreciation of Burt Bacharach but I can readily acknowledge his merits. They include but are not limited to; being a heavy influence on Brian Wilson's style of songwriting, collaborating with Dre, extensive use of the flugelhorn. They do not, however, include writing the song "(They Long to Be) Close to You". It's a widely covered song; everybody from My Chemical Romance to Frank Sinatra's been at it, and I hate every version I've heard.*

And yet I find myself absolving Burt from culpability for this, my least favourite song. Partly because he was responsible for "Magic Moments". Partly because I despise the Carpenters.

They are the Same Difference of the '70s. They are pastel colours, semolina, your grandmother's yellowing lace tablecloth. I hate everything about them. Except the Babes in Toyland cover of "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary craft". But even that cannot go any way in redeeming the sickly siblings, because it's technically a cover of a cover and my contempt for them will not allow them to be responsible for a good song. Essentially, the Carpenters are mid-tempo apathy, and obnoxiously wholesome**

I hate everything about their cover of "Close to You".

The Carpenters - Close To You

One of the limpest piano parts I've ever listened to serves as an accompaniment to Karen Carpenter's deep, chesty vocals which possess the insipid cadence of a woman excavating the bowels of bland balladry. Surprisingly, even the feather-light snare and strings can't save the song from its own feebleness.

Perhaps what I hate most about "Close to You" is what arguably, is meant to be a clinchingly sincere love song, like everything else about the Carpenters, is simply depressing.

This setiment may or may not be related to the fact that I was listening to this song standing by a window looking out at the rain and crying on the day my cat was run over by a car. As a child, I really, really liked my cat.

*Except Isaac Hayes'. It's difficult to hate any music by a man who is affectionately referred to as Black Moses.

** Richard does, however, try to contest this unfair labeling by claiming that he has drank wine at dinner before and once voted to legalise marijuana.

1 comment:

  1. Isaac Hayes' is water-partingly awesome. Even though he doesn't tell a 6 minute story for context's sake like the start of Phoenix.

    I want to hear a JOHN Carpenter version of Close To You, mind.