The Ting Tings - 'That's Not My Name'
Yes, yes, yes...so I've already written extensively about this song, twice. So what? Does that mean it doesn't deserve to get the full ChartBlog review treatment? No, it does not. Besides, it's Bank Holiday Monday today, and I was planning on having this on pretty much constant repeat all day long anyway, with maybe a little break here and there to play something by the Courteeners, as a sorbet to cleanse the palate. So, while it's on my mind and in my ears, here's some more thoughts about it...
WARNING: SOME OF THE FOLLOWING THOUGHTS MAY CONTAIN WILD ENTHUSIASM.
Thought 1: Stop all the clocks. Everybody put your guitars, synths, drum machines and microphones down. There's no need to put any more music out in 2008, the race to have the Most Bestest Song Of The Year In The Whole World Ever has already been won, and if you continue to take part, you'll be lapped more times than a lone saucer of milk in Catland.
Thought 2: The best music is arranged in a complex fashion but sounds utterly simple. This is because it's much better, even if you've got the body throwing itself about with wild abandon, to engage the mind as well. If you can create musical mysteries which cannot be solved by one listen alone, this will bring people back to your songs again and again, and prevent today's piping hot adrenaline-rush, goosebump perfection become tomorrows mystifying left-over cold mush.
That's why the end of this song is so amazing. All the little melodies start to overlap, the rhythm changes from angular to anthemic, everything suddenly whooshes skywards, leaving snatches of scorched verse to tumble back down to Earth through the jetstream. That's a lot for the listener to process, especially while doing a one-man circle-pit in his/her bedroom.
Thought 3: The same rule applies to opaque lyrics, only there's more of a balancing act involved. If you're too obvious or cliched, a certain amount of mystique gets lost, too obscure, and you've lost your audience before you've even started. The trick is to create a kind of blank canvas of meaning, where people can fill in their own experiences - in this case, experiences of fighting to be recognised in an uncaring world - without becoming so bland lyrically that there's nothing to emotionally engage with.
Thought 4: None of the above would matter if the finished song didn't tickle the music receptors and make them shiver.
Thought 5: Isn't it embarrassing when someone has a great big crush and just can't stop going on about it? Like they can't seem to talk about anything else ever, and even if you start a conversation about something entirely irrelevant, they always manage to bring it back to the same mile-a-minute gush. I mean it's nice for THEM, sure. But can't they see they're boring the face off everyone they meet? I mean, c'mon, change the reco...