Monday, March 19, 2012

The Shins - "Simple Song" (2012)

A couple of instances here of a songwriter going the extra mile. First, the chorus at the very end of the song, heard for the third time but now with new words introducing, quite surprisingly, a whole new temporal reference point to the first person narrative - a sad little personally revealing anecdote when one was not expected, left as a final impression before the song disappears.

Second, that little guitar solo that precedes the final chorus. At this point of the song, there's already been an instrumental break, but hey, let's have another one. It occurs over the buildup to the chorus, but the approach here is nuanced and subtle. We hadn't heard this buildup since the first chorus, when it was two bars long. Second chorus, it's not there at all. Third and final chorus, it's back with the guitar solo over the top and now extended to four bars to give things a kick, the guitar playing a lovely little variation on the melodic descent to the first chord of the chorus (heard originally on the keyboard). That's a classic rock move, big time, executed by somebody who knows.

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