09.23.2014

08.17.2006

The best songs are the sad songs

Filed under: a group of folks,music,slice,useless @ 14:35

I had a debate with Michelle the other day that started with me making the statement above. My argument was that artists are going to spend a long time composing and brooding over a work of sadness because they have nothing better to do; they’re sad. A happy song, however, will be written quickly; the artist has better things to be getting on with.

Now, I know there will be many who disagree with this assessment (or the conclusion), so allow me to seal the deal by offering up a concrete example grounded in objectivity that will surely convince even the most fervorous of dissenters: Elliott Smith v. The Village People.

As long as nobody brings up Belle and Sebastian, I think we’ve got that all settled.

1 Comment

  1.  
    lincoln 08.30.2006 @ 16:31

    I think that the entire “Pet Sounds” album is a great counterexample. Not only are most of the songs undeniably happy and undeniably great, they also represent a labor of love by the primary author, Brian Wilson.

    On the other hand, I don’t know if I would call Brian Wilson an “happy” person; a pysche shattered by a pathological drive for greatness. I’m not sure i’m conviced (and I don’t think I want to be), but perhaps the best songs, while not all being sad, all derive from a place of sadness…

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