Years ago (I think this was 2008/2009), I came across a song by Gary Go –the British singer/songwriter. At the time, he was cultivating a very strange vibe on the Internet with a website that had him talking about himself in a sped up/Alvin the Chipmunk kind of voice. When I was looking at his public persona back then, I thought, “Oh great, this guy is trying way to hard to be different. I sure hope his music doesn’t try to do the same.”
And then I heard “Heart and Soul.” It’s an earnest, wearing-one’s-heart-on-the sleeve kind of song. His voice has a kind of Chris Martin thing going on, but it’s one of those songs that starts out slow and builds to a very big emotional finish. For a guy who was trying to be different, he chose a very common type of song structure. It’s initially a piano driven song with guitar and drums coming in after the intro. The song remains at a slow to mid-tempo groove ’til the midway point. Then comes the “brick being thrown out the window” build up to the ride out that takes the song into high gear with a repeat of the chorus that has swelling strings and guitar to push the emotional climax ’til the end. “Heart and Soul” concludes how it began — that is to say, vocals and piano striking the last notes.
Like I said, it’s not the most unconventional song structure but I do like this tune quite a lot. Perhaps because it came along at a time when very few groups wrote songs that were sincere. Sure, there was Coldplay, but pop music was kind of at a crossroads between the sincerity that Gary Go and Chris Martin express and the flash and more flash of Lady Gaga and others who emerged in her wake. Nowadays, I don’t think there’s a paucity of sincerity in pop music, but in 2008/2009 it sure seemed that way to me.
Anyway, if you haven’t heard Gary Go’s “Heart and Soul,” here it is: