Educating Peter # 28

December 30, 2012


In all this Christmas holiday festivity period I completely forgot about this week’s Educating Peter. Oops.

I’ll try to make this post a quick one, because I’m still in Christmas mode and not thinking much about the computer, or the blog, or putting posts on the blog etc. etc. It also doesn’t help that I’m still full of Christmas food. All those mince pies, gingerbread, and Christmas pudding, among other things, have turned my brain my brain to mush. (Christmas!)

Right. What do we have this week?

This week, regular supplier of 80’s ditties Michael (Hi, Michael!) is having a break while I tackle a song suggested by Steve.

The song is “What About Love”, it’s by American band ‘Til Tuesday, and it’s from 1986. [Shudder]

Up until Steve handed over this song, my knowledge of ‘Til Tuesday extended to exactly one song: “Voices Carry“. I like that song very, very much.

(“Voices Carry” is probably my second-favourite song about domestic violence, after Suzanne Vega’s “Luka”. And I might have to rephrase the statement that I have “favourite” songs about domestic violence. It’s like talking about having favourite serial killers, which is not a topic I’d recommend talking about in polite company.)

On to the song so I can finish this post and go back to not thinking.

‘Til Tuesday – “What About Love” (1986)


0:00-0:04 – This song starts with both a positive and a negative. Negative: this song starts with an insipid drum machine. Positive: the drum machine lasts four seconds. (Which makes me wonder why they bothered putting it in the song in the first place. Maybe the band were making A Statement about something or other – something that’s eluding me because my brain is mush.)

0:04 – A cavernous snare drum that lets me know we’re listening to a song recorded in the 1980s.

0:04-0:23 – An instrumental intro that I don’t mind. I like the guitar part. But it does contain what I think are weird vocals at regular intervals (0:06-0:08, 0:10-0:12, 0:15-0:17, 0:20-0:22 etc.). They’re singing something like “Bup, boo booooo”. I say it’s someone singing, but I’m not even sure it’s a human voice because it sounds like something a synthesizer could probably do. Whatever it is, I find it weird.

0:23-1:00 – The first verse. Quick observations:

• It’s jazzy (thanks to some minor seventh chords)
• I don’t like the vocal mannerisms of singer Aimee Mann.
• When Aimee sings “…so put out all the fires” (from 0:42-0:45), she sounds like Chrissie Hynde.

1:00-1:20 – The first chorus. When Aimee elongates the word “love” so that it resembles “lu-hu-hu-huv” (1:02-1:04), she sounds like Chrissie Hynde again.

1:11 – The chorus’s hook. It’s a falsetto octave-leap note, and that sucks people in every time. (Who can resist an octave-leaping falsetto octave?)

I wasn’t planning on writing this much about the song. I was hoping to have a quick listen, mumble something, and then go do something else.

1:20-2:00 – The second verse. More of the same. Except there’s a guitar in the left channel from 1:41-1:48 that sounds to me like an ambulance siren in slow motion and reversed. (“Weee waaa, weee waaa, weee waaa, weee waaa”. I think I ate too much Christmas pudding.)

So far, this track’s not doing much much for me. But it’s not making me go “Yuk!” (apart from those four seconds of drum machine at the start). I’m semi-enjoying it in a “not too bad, but nothing sticking out as anything terribly unique” way. I’m listening to it, and it’s pleasant.

1:20-2:17 – The second chorus.

2:09 – There’s that falsetto hook again.

2:17-2:54 – A guitar solo. When Steve had suggested this song, he mentioned that he really liked the guitar solo. It didn’t float my boat (I thought the guitarist used his whammy bar a bit too much), but one thing I did like about the solo was how it began. It sounded like the guitarist who was playing his part in the chorus kept on playing and launched into a solo (i.e., he continued playing after the chorus).

2:54-3:32 – The chorus after the guitar solo. I can’t think of anything in particular to say about it.

3:32-3:58 – This is the band continuing the chorus as Aimee sings “What about love?” twice, then “What about me-ee-ee-ee?” once, and then everyone plays a dramatic G minor chord at 3:50, the dramatic G minor chord fades out, and that’s the end of the song in G minor. Oh, I forgot to mention that the song’s in the key of G minor.