Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Genesis - "Carpet Crawlers" (1974)

True prog rock that nevertheless manages an extraordinary compositional concision. Harmonically exploratory intro (with those beautiful keyboard arpeggios) is actually arranged as two consecutive sixteen-bar verses.* The song then modulates, not up but down from E to D, settling into its dark confines: the place from which, over four new verses alternating with four choruses, it seeks its transcendence.

Building on the first verse, the drums enter on the second with a part so simple, so unique, so perfect that no changes or fills are necessary through the rest of the song. In the third verse, the lead vocal is now in the higher register, stronger and stretching for a wider, plaintive melodic line. Fourth and final verse doesn't need another intensification; all it needs is to stay the course until the end.

* Second verse has an abbreviated text.

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