Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Instrumental Voices

I like the title of this post 'cause it's kind of got a double meaning. Or rather, two double meanings. You'll probably understand better after you read this whole post.

Speaking of which, I will be embedding a whole buncha videos in this post. So if you are viewing this on my Facebook page, you probably will want to come on over to my blog proper and view this post. That way you can see all of my pretty embedded videos.

This post will be a bit of a departure for me...bear with me. I was inspired to write this edition of the Uninformed Opinion when I was listening to Pandora Internet Radio and allofasudden "Mrs. Robinson", by Simon and Garfunkel, came on.

Here it is, btw...

This song struck me as really capturing the spirit of the psychedelic movement in '60s and '70s music. It's got that soft groove, a bit of a multicultural feel to it, and their inimitable harmony.

Simon and Garfunkel are weird, because they preach in their music, but their music is never preachy. A paradox perhaps, but nevertheless true. For instance, take what is arguably S&G's best-known song, "The Sound of Silence". It's full of message, but its unique sound keeps the message from being too jarring.

I think it's interesting how versatile they are, while never really breaking out of a genre they epitomize. They never really deserted their folksy ballad-with-a-kick format, but the interpretation of that format varies widely from song to song. "The Boxer", another of Simon's masterpieces, is a more produced sound than the pared-down a capella of "Sound of Silence".

The greatest thing about Simon and Garfunkel isthat their music is incredibly well thought-out. Lyrics, vocals, tempos, even the aggressiveness of their all works together. And it can be subtle, too; not all of their preaching is clubbing. In "Scarborough Fair", the song as a whole subsumes the message, and oddly enough, strengthens it thereby.

Sure, there's a message there, but the first time you hear the song, you don't pick up on the anti-war just get a feeling of pain and loss.

So that's it. My fandom for S&G knows little boundary. Remember, if you're reading this on Facebook, take the time to check it out in its original version, here at the Uninformed Opinion.

Long live harmonization!

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