Friday, February 20, 2009

Forest: Could Have Been

Here's where things start to get a little scruffy.

Could Have Been

I really like the lyrics for this song. At first blush, they're positive: the verses are full of pleasant imagery and the chorus has explicitly positive phrases. But the "it could have been" raises doubt, making the ultimate message ambiguous.

Marty Jones suggested the crashing surf sound during the chorus. He happened to have just that sound in some sample library and triggered it directly from a button the front panel of the rack-mount sampler. I think I ruined this song for Thom some time later when I suggested it sounded more like a toilet flushing and he wasn't able subsequently to shake that impression. It didn't help that I also used to make toilet flushing sounds when playing this live.

Thom played the electric on this. He had some flavor of Fender Stratocaster and I think a Fender Twin Reverb amp. The lead part is ok, but I don't like the sound... again it's thicker, more phlegmy than it needs to be. But I love the sound of the rhythm electric (the part is in the chorus, hidden under the surf sound, and is mixed pretty low).

Technically, the recording is a mess. The acoustic sounds like it was recorded with a cheap mic (which I'm sure it wasn't) in the bathroom (which I know it wasn't). The timing of the bass part is terrible. The backing vox are cringetastic. And the tuning is just way off, all around. It's shocking how bad the tuning is on the whole album, really. I think I'll do a whole post on tuning and intonation (and all the work that went into it on Twice the Usual).

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I like these lyrics, too, Kenneth. For me the "could have been" sounds more like an uncertainty about what's causing the "rising power". On reflection, it "could have been" any of those things, but it doesn't really matter; the feelings are there and they are good. For some reason, Thom's songs really grab me.

    Funny how your comments actually add to my enjoyment even though you yourself are hearing and acknowledging the technical faults.