Saturday, February 21, 2009

Forest: She Makes Me

The only gospel song in Thom's catalog:

She Makes Me

Ok, it's not really gospel. It's just a simple, pretty song. But the chord progression (I-III-IV-I) screams gospel to me, and I wasn't able to resist pulling out a bag of gospel clichés in the piano and organ parts.

This is one of the few songs on the album where the feel isn't too rushed. Somehow we were able to relax on this one. But the lead vocal needs to be dragged a little. Nowadays, you'd just nudge the vocal track by 50 ms or so. I did this to the lead vocal on Life is a Circle off of Twice the Usual. It completely relaxes the vocal part. But in 1995, recording to analog tape, you did the best you could and lived with it.

The piano (E-mu PROFormance again) and organs (Roland JV-1080) were tracked separately (they're different parts). But when we played this song live, I would just layer the E-mu with the XP-50 and it came out pretty close to the same thing. I still like the organ sound for the solo, but dislike the main background organ sound in the verses.

And I still really like the gospel organ solo (starting at 2:58). It's just one B3 cliché after another. In particular I'm digging the four descending "blue" figures starting at 3:34.

On the down side, there's too much compression again on the acoustic guitar. I wonder why we thought we needed it. And the doppler effect of the Leslie simulation on the B3 organ just makes it seem out of tune. (A Leslie is a speaker that spins around inside a cabinet. It adds tremolo because the speaker is alternately louder (facing you) and quieter (facing away). It also adds vibrato because the speaker is sometimes moving towards you and sometimes away from you, causing a rise and fall in pitch like an approaching/retreating ambulance siren). In hindsight, I probably should have just turned off the Leslie simulation. (For the record, this is also why the organ at the end of Even After All This Time from Twice the Usual sounds out of tune).

The timing gets sloppy at the end, too.

But overall, a pretty cool song.

1 comment:

  1. I like your description of this as a "simple, pretty song", Kenneth. The only really nostalgic moment I experience is in the part about wanting to return to a time of having no feelings of failure or any sense of caution. Ah, youth!

    The music gives this song an easy, familiar feel.