10 August 2013

Music Day

Seriously? I haven't featured this song yet?

This was the only track I initially liked from the album of the same name (though I thought Ritual was kind of cool too). White Heart hadn't rocked hard like this since Bye Bye Babylon.

Oh, it starts quiet enough... but at about the nineteen-second mark the drum kicks up and then the bass falls in, gritty, crunchy, and most of all loud, with a similarly styled guitar ripping across the top on the seventh beat (dance counts), then the sixth and eighth beats of the next phrase.

Two more sets of eight, and then Rick comes in -- an almost-menacing intimate whisper, the power of his voice just barely restrained as he sweeps up into I don't know your name...

A breath, and control returns, a delicate tip-toe melody now for You've been hanging around for so long at my place...

By the time he sings It's crawling back again to find me and slips up into a desperate near-scream on Get it out of my mind... the song has taken on a slightly creepy feel. 'It' is never explained, though looking at the context of the song I'm picturing something kind of like Lecrae's Indwelling Sin -- the old sinful man trying to regain control of the redeemed human, to the horror of said redeemed human.

I absolutely love the guitars in the chorus -- low, fuzzy, almost static-like. It's a smooth trade-off... the vocal in the verse was heavily processed, but in the chorus it's mostly organic. However, the guitar takes over the fuzzed-out sound, giving the song a subtle change of pace while still feeling consistent.

Then we get the two sets of eight from the beginning again. (Darn it, I'm listening like a choreographer. Brain apparently does not want to shift into music-enjoyment mode.)

Listening to this again, I think this is the lowest I've heard Rick's voice, right there at the beginning of the second verse. He's very dynamic on this song, actually. I'm surprised more people don't quote it as a favourite (because we all know White Heart songs live or die by how spot-on Rick was when they recorded the vocals -- at least the rock ones). He's in fine form here -- almost growling, a touch of sarcastic menace, then screaming high (the word 'wailing' is the closest synonym I have off the top of my head), and it's all done so smoothly. Nearly every line has a different dynamic, and you're hard-pressed to find the transitions. The line You know that's a lie is delivered in a way that calls to mind the fire from Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Christian nine years before, and yet there's a touch of sadness in it -- you know that pained feeling you get when you see someone you love being a total idiot and destroying some aspect of their lives when you know they know better? Yeah. It kind of sounds like he's watching something like that.

Regular readers know that usually I don't pay attention to guitar solos (that or I hate them with a passion... depends if I'm choreographing it or not), but this is a killer solo. The bass and the drums still play behind it, adding power to it, and (thank goodness) it's not one of these presumptuous guitar solos where they just kind of shoe-horned it into the song because every song needs a guitar solo, right? It changes directions partway through, going from straight up rock-guitar-solo to something a little more finessed but equally loud. As the song rocks on, hurtling with reckless abandon to its close, the guitar work becomes rather off-kilter. So now you've got a totally fuzzed-out, not-quite-centered guitar and Rick's clear angelic voice still throwing in some stuff over it. It's perfect.

And then it all comes to an abrupt end with the vocal sliding up and snapping delicately off into nothing and a reverberating guitar chord picking up where the vocal track leaves off, carrying the song to a suspenseful-yet-satisfying ending.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present... Inside.

Title: Inside
Artist: White Heart
Album: Inside
Year: 1995
Label: Curb Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.


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