Monday, March 12, 2012

March Rerun: The Last 30 Seconds

The Top 10 Reasons Why the Last 30 Seconds of "Radio Bar" by Fountains of Wayne Capture Everything That's Good & Smart & Hopeful About Pop Music

[Originally posted last October -- crazy busy around these parts, so forgive the rerun]

First click here to listen.

10. "One night there was a girl there."
Probably there were girls there before that night. Maybe that girl was there on some previous night. But all good pop songs begin with a girl (and in the logic of the pop song, time begins anew when a girl appears).

9. "For some reason, she..."
Girls are strange and wondrous creatures. Men and boys will never understand them... We know that they have reasons for what they do, even if we'll never know or fully comprehend those reasons.

8. The way the horn parts echo and complement the vocals in the last verse.
Yeah, this technically starts before the last 30 seconds, but it continues and intensifies as the song draws to a close.

7. Stretching out the first syllable of "somewhere" in the line "She said 'why don't we go somewhere?'"
It would scan better not to stretch the syllable. It would match what went before. But when your entire life changes, everything suddenly seems different and when you look back, the moment of change elongates in your memory.

6. The internal rhyme of "So I passed her her coat, that was all that she wrote."
Again, when your entire life changes, the rhymes can quicken. And once your life changes completely, what's the harm of adding an extra line or two to the verse?

5. "That was it for the radio bar."
Because when your life suddenly changes and you have purpose, you no longer need to waste time childishly like you did before.

4. The false ending.
Is there anything sweeter than a fake ending in a power pop song? (Please reference "No Matter What" in your answer.) The only thing that would have made this better would be a split-second of complete silence before the drums kick back in.

3. The joyful continuation of the song.
Because even though the days of the Radio Bar are over, that doesn't mean you can't slam into the chorus one more time with all the gusto that encompassed every second you'd spent there over the years.

2. The percussion in the last chorus.
Similar, but much more pronounced than what went before. Listen carefully and you can hear a prominent triangle.

1. A slight stretching of the last word.
Not as big a stretch as "somewhere," but still enough to add another half- or three-quarters of a syllable to the word "bar." Because clearly, this is a place that was important -- not as important as the girl, of course, but important nonetheless.

1 comment:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Brilliant, seriously, and not for the first time.

Re false endings, man I have never heard anyone put their finger on that precise thing before but that's exactly true. You just flat-out knocked down the old gray wall. My first subconscious until now love affair with the false ending began with Rain. I'm sure there are earlier manifestations if you were here to remind me but that's what I remember unprompted, sonny. :-)