Saturday, June 21, 2008

UMFOTOB PRESENTS: Old Brown Shoe

OLD BROWN SHOE
PMCPP Analysis #8
KEY: C Major
RHYTHM USED: Chunk
SONG WRITER: George

Welcome to our first study of UMFOTOB, everyone! Today I take on a song by George. Well, at least they say it's by George, (lol, BY GEORGE!) I'm still not sold on that fact. This sounds 100% like something Paul could've written. From the Piano to the key... Yeah. Let's just get going.

THE PIANO: This piano part has all the skill and finesse of... well, Hello Goodbye, the difference here of course being that THIS piano part is supposed to be in the very foreground. It's just repeated 3 note chunks on mostly C7 chords in the 2nd inversion, not too difficult. It obviously changes with the chords, but the amount of actual difference is not really statistically viable here, ZING!

But wait, when I look in the Instrument files for this song... BEHOLD LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Paul is playing that piano, all right. As if we couldn't tell from that insistant SMASHING on the keys. Man, have you no love for dynamics? The only time he ever plays quiet notes is on the off beats of Ba-Dum songs.

Oh, sorry, get back to George, right. Anyway, the entire rhythm here is smacking on off-beats the entire intro, verse, pretty much everywhere but the solo and bridge. Then it's really the same thing, but at double speed. If you listen closely, Paul actually forgets what he's doing at one point when the solo starts and is still playing the verse "riff". I'm really not comfortable calling that a riff, it's just loud smacking... Technicalities!

LAZINESS IN SONGWRITING: Gee, how long did THIS one take to come up with? A good LARGE chunk (pun totally intended) of the song is spent on that boring ol' I chord. It takes quite a while for anything even remotely exotic other than I, ii or V to show up, and even then it's the all-together random bVI chord that fattens our harmonic selection. Eventually a V-V and some others add to the fun, but even with that, it can't stop the annoying repetitiveness of that I7 chord banging away measure after measure. You could probably get away with playing that I7 chord for the entire verse and nobody would notice.

The lyrics here seem to follow the Hello, Goodbye style of taking stuff that sounds good and then saying whatever the inverse of it is. You know, for... uh... actually, I can't think of a reason why that gambit works so well. It stopped being clever a while ago. Hm. Most of the things he says are just weird and borderlining on creepy. "Short haired girl that sometimes wears it twice as long?" You know, we're referencing Hello, Goodbye a lot in this one, they're even in the same key. COINCIDENCE?! Yes, yes it is.

Also, reject =/= rhyme with perfect.

I heard a report (Read: It's written on Alan Pollack's website) that George sung this song into a tight corner to record the vocals, thus the mudiness of it. Great thinking, Harri. This is coincidentally the exact same time that The Beatles had run out of innovations. You already tortured our ears enough with that sitar, Mr. George. We don't need more bright ideas from YOU.

WHY GEORGE GOT AWAY WITH IT: Well... really not many people have heard this song, since it was tucked away on a B-side of a #1 hit. And nobody actually gives a crap about B-sides. And I'm sure if this were the A-side, it wouldn't have been a #1 hit in the first place, thank you very much. Blah.

- UZ

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NOTE:

This series and blog is totally tongue in cheek. I really do love Paul McCartney.