“Maybe I should hold on just a moment and be sure it’s not for vanity.
Look me in the eye and tell me love is never based upon insanity.”
Baby I’m A Fool – Melody Gardot
Oh, Melody! Poor young lady’s had a terrible time, but she can really turn a phrase. So much subtle tension, so much character, so much life pours out of this little couplet. A little moment is crystalised, turned into frost, and presented to us as a beautiful parable on what motivates us to find love.
It’s not so much the poetry that impresses me, but the value-per-line. She doesn’t try to over-egg the pudding with too many metaphors, or fuzz the picture with too many images. With the precision of a BBC Journalist, she tweezers open an entire world through two fairly colloquial sentences. An entire relationship is constructed before our very ears.
Melody’s songs are stuffed with these rich one-liners. It’s nothing to do with the adjectives she chooses, or the degree to which she personalises her content. It’s the amount of truth she extracts from a small number of syllables; so much juicy, meaty truth in two little couplets that you’re never going to extract it all in one sitting. Nom nom nom.
You can tell a bad song when the stringy bits get stuck in your teeth. I’m going to leave you with the opening couplet of the song that’s dominating the Spotify Worldwide charts at the moment. Consider its value-per-line: It’s as worthless as an Irish savings account.
“I want you to love me, like I’m a hot guy
Keep thinkin’ of me, doin’ what you like”
Only Girl (In The World) – Rihanna